Sister of Saint Joseph of Chambery

History Stories

Sr. Dolores Lahr, CSJ

“Comforting COVID Patients and Caregivers”

As a member of the senior leadership team of Saint Mary’s Hospital in Waterbury, Sr. Dolores Lahr makes rounds to “see how everything’s going,” inquiring about patients and staff.

You can find her outside a room in the Intensive Care Unit, praying for a COVID-positive patient or asking a colleague with school-aged children how her life is going at home.

“I stand outside a room and pray,” she said. “Sometimes patients know I’m there. Sometimes they don’t.”

She prayed especially hard during the second wave of infection.

“Some recovered and some did not recover,” she said. “I keep praying that the numbers go down and stay down.”

Staff passing her in the hallway would later comment that the patient she was praying for could easily be a family member for any of them. “Our staff cares for patients like they are one of their own,” she said.

She has seen apostolic pardons given outside a room, “offering the same redeeming graces,” as the bedside anointing of the sick.

She also brings what is called a “comfort cart” around to caregivers and other staff dispensing snacks like Twizzlers and granola bars and delivering food baskets to various hospital units.

“It’s a way to comfort and connect and say ‘thank you’ to those who are doing what they can for patients and their families,” she said.

 In the photo, Sr. Dolores prays outside the room of a COVID patient in the ICU at Saint Mary’s Hospital, Waterbury, CT.