Villa Maria, PA — The Sisters of the Humility of Mary are finding new ways to stay connected to each other in these times of social distancing. On May 5, a group of 23 sisters from Cuyahoga, Mahoning, and Trumbull counties gathered at Villa Maria Community Center to put on a parade for the Villa resident sisters who have been in lockdown since March 12. The group’s goal was to let the Villa sisters, staff, and apartment residents know that they were thinking of them.
Fourteen cars were decorated with handmade signs, balloons, and chalk paint expressing well wishes and messages of love and encouragement. An impromptu rendition of “If You’re Happy and You Know It” was led by Sr. Laurel Smith when the parade stopped for a short time to allow the participants to get out of their cars but maintain a safe social distance.
“The idea emerged when Sisters Anne [Victory], Carolyn [Marshall], and I were talking to a sister from another community who shared that their sisters had done it for those at their motherhouse,” said Sr. Mary Pat Cook, who organized the surprise parade. “We have also seen many news stories of car parades for birthdays, graduations, and other celebrations and thought it would be a fun idea.”
Sr. Mary Pat said the planning for the parade started around 10 days ago. After contacting a few people at the Villa to see if the idea would be feasible, the date was set for May 5 and the word was spread to other sisters to see if they were able to participate.
The Villa sisters, staff, and apartment residents were all appreciative of the parade and enjoyed the surprise. Many said it meant a lot to them and made their day.
“I think the sisters who participated enjoyed it as much as the Villa sisters. It was good to see people in person,” said Sr. Mary Pat.