Cloistered nuns get vaccinated to do their 'duty as citizens' and neighbours

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MONTREAL — Cloistered nuns in Montreal's Carmelite monastery lined up to complete their COVID-19 vaccinations yesterday.

Inside a 125-year-old convent in the city's Plateau neighbourhood, 11 sisters — masked and habited — received their second dose to ensure the virus remains outside the institution's stone walls.

The sisters joke they were under confinement long before March 2020, but the pandemic has deprived them of visits from family as well as fellow Montrealers, with the monastery shut down for a second time since Oct. 16.

Marie-Pierre Bielle, who manages an elder-support program at a Montreal health authority, says the Carmelites are among the city's most vulnerable populations, with the youngest nun aged 61 and their oldest now 96.

Mobile vaccination teams have visited multiple religious communities in the city along with seniors' residences.

Sister Marie-Monique says she and her sisters have a "duty as citizens" and neighbours to get immunized and prevent viral spread.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published May 22, 2021.

The Canadian Press

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