Catholic Sister Helps Families Impacted by COVID-19 with Surprise Donations

Sister Marie-Paule Willem on the Frontlines

When Juanita received a letter from Sister Marie-Paule Willem, she thought it was a get well card. The widow was recovering from surgery, with a daughter recovering from COVID-19 in a different state. On top of her distress at not being able to be with her daughter, her washing machine had just broken down and she didn’t have the funds to fix it. “I’ll leave it in God’s hands,” she thought. 

Then she opened the envelope to find a check, funded by donations to Sisters on the Frontlines.

When she called Sister Willem to thank her, the only thing she could say between sobs was how good God is, how he remembers the widows, the sick, the lonely and the poor.

A Lifetime on the Frontlines  

The coronavirus pandemic has left many of us thinking we’ve seen it all. But for Sister Marie-Paule Willem, FMM, COVID-19 has been just one challenge she’s endured with grace in her 87 years of life. 

From helping oppressed communities in South America to serving prisoners and immigrants in New Mexico, Sister Marie-Paule has spent a lifetime promoting the dignity of individuals and families. So when Sisters on the Frontlines gave her $1,000 to help those in her community most in need due to the pandemic, she knew just where to go. 

Sister Willem used her $1,000 gift to help three families, including Juanita. 

These unexpected donations will be received as a gift from heaven, and proof that God blesses and returns hundred fold.”

Sister Marie-Paule Willem
Sister Marie-Paule Willem

Relief and Gratitude 

Another person helped was Joe, a musician out of work due to the pandemic. His wife Josie has cancer. Bills were piling up, but still he played for free at Masses. He plans to donate to help someone else in need once he is able to work again. 

Sister Willem also gave a check to Ida and Armando. Ida is recuperating from cancer and Armando is a Vietnam veteran husband who is a barber who has been out of work due to COVID-19. He gives free haircuts to our priests and the poor. Now they will have money for food and to pay bills. He thanked Sister Willem, writing in a note: 

“When I received your donation, I felt a surprise and a relief I had not had in a long time. We will always be grateful” 

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