“In our nursing home we have ninety-nine seriously ill patients. They send them to us either from hospitals or from their homes when they are no longer able to care for them. They either recover here and go home, or they die. Over ninety people died here in the past year. The nurses take care of their every need to make the rest of their lives not so hard. They try to alleviate their situation as much as possible. There are mainly civilian nurses working here. As for us nuns, there are twenty of us, but they are mostly elderly sisters. Four of the sisters are over ninety years old. The youngest one is over thirty, but she visits the hospital to provide spiritual care. Then there is one nun who works in the office and another who is the manager. We urgently need more sisters.”
“My dad’s sister was in a convent, as well as his cousin and one more relative. It was therefore not that difficult for dad to accept my decision. His sister was a St. Vincent nun, that relative was an Ursuline sister, and his cousin was in the same order as me, in the congregation of the Sisters of Mercy of St. Charles Borromeo.”
S.M. Brigita Čechová was born November 13, 1931 in Jaroslavice near Zlín. She attended the elementary school in Jaroslavice and then the higher elementary in Zlín. She always had to walk to school regardless of the weather. When she was seventeen she went to work in Vincentinum in Prague. Vincentinum was an institute for terminally ill patients. About a year later she joined the convent of the Sisters of Mercy of St. Charles Borromeo and she began studying a nursing school. When she was in the second year of her studies, all monasteries and convents were closed down by the communist regime and the school passed under civilian administration. Sister Brigita was subsequently sent to Jindřichův Hradec, Šternberk, Znojmo, Prachatice and eventually to Hrabice near Vimperk. She worked as a nurse in the surgery and gynaecology wards and as a nurse for handicapped children as well as for elderly patients. She experienced the Velvet Revolution while doing this work. After November 1989 she changed her workplaces several times, depending on where nurses were needed. She eventually settled in Prague, where she has been living in the convent of the St. Borromeo sisters in Prague-Řepy since 2011.