Our hope is that Give to the Max Day 2020 will raise the funds necessary to offset the expenses for the upgrade of our audiovisual systems, which has an impact on keeping strong connections amongst the Sisters during this unusual time of the pandemic.
Here is what we were able to achieve:
The sound system is much better now, with more clarity, both for those seated in the chapel and for those listening and watching on closed-circuit TV in their rooms or gathering areas at Assisi Heights, or joining via livestream on computers in their homes in other cities, states and even in Bogotá, Colombia.
In addition, we now have hearing assistance devices for those that wish to participate in the Chapel, but need an added boost to the volume.
“One of the features of the new system that I look forward to experiencing is the “loop” amplification system. For those of us who wear hearing aids, it is a simple loop worn around the neck which connects electronically with our own hearing aids. The new sound system already has improved the sound volume and clarity, but the loop will connect the microphone input directly to our hearing aids so we are not dependent on the ambient sound. No more speech garbled by dropped diphthongs!”
– Sister Charlotte Hesby
The new features in the chapel allow us to move the camera and “zoom in” to see the faces of those speaking. The old camera was focused on the front of the chapel, too far away to clearly see people’s facial features. Not only was it outdated, but did not have adequate controls to ensure smooth transitioning… especially if we wished to focus on a specific person. The Sisters are able to view on closed circuit TV at Assisi Heights, or via computer if living elsewhere.
“The new system has someone guiding the movements of the camera from a computer, which enhances the celebration and makes it more meaningful. “
– Sister Elaine Frank
While it isn’t possible to gather in large groups now, we know that even prior to COVID-19 there were Sisters that could not leave their rooms or corridors to gather in the chapel. Being able to watch Mass and other Community celebrations on TV, with close-ups of the presiders, allows them to feel as if they are at the event, albeit virtually. They feel a part of the process.
“What a difference improved technology makes! Living in South America means that we desperately need a decent “connection” to the Community at large to feel that we are actually a part of the whole! Being able to participate in such important events as Vow ceremonies and Covenant ceremonies, Jubilee celebrations, special events for the Congregation such as St. Francis Day or Mother Alfred Day, and the funerals of our Sisters really makes us feel included, even from so far away! In the earlier version of our livestreaming, we could barely distinguish who and what we were seeing — now it is “the next best thing to BEING there!”
– Sister Valerie Usher
So, despite our days of experiencing social distancing, we can now provide the necessary link to ensure that our Sisters, both near and far, have the feeling of being intimately involved with the rest of the Community.
And that, my friends, makes all the difference!
Again this year, we have been blessed with a generous, anonymous donor who has pledged to match the first $20,000 that is given on Give to the Max Day 2020. This contribution will effectively double your own support. Together we hope to raise a total of $40,000 during this year’s Give to the Max Day. Your contribution will assist us in keeping our Sisters feel connected.
We are counting on your help. To make a donation, click here.
Peace and all good,
Director of Mission Advancement