Quebec City nuns raise $135K for health-care workers through daily strolls

The nuns, who have an average age of 80, are walking every day for 20 days to raise money for resource programs.

The nuns, whose average age is 80, walk to support health-care workers every day

Quebec City Mayor Régis Labeaume joined the nuns at the Augustinian monastery Saturday for an hour-long walk to raise money for health-care workers. (Radio-Canada)

Every day, the nuns at the Augustinian monastery in Old Quebec head to their garden to walk for an hour and show their support for health-care workers.

The nuns, whose average age is 80, have been raising money through online donations to support frontline health workers. The money will be used to welcome health-care workers to the monastery's personalized "wellness program."

"We really want to serve people and continue to help them in any way we can," said Sister Lise Tanguay, who has lived at the monastery since 1965, when it was still cloistered. 

Sister Lise Tanguay, left, and Quebec City Mayor Régis Labeaume walk around the Augustinian monastery's gardens. (Radio-Canada)

The sisters start their walk every morning at the foot of the cross, and say a prayer for the sick and for frontline workers.

They are at a greater risk of developing complications from COVID-19 because of their age, and some of the nuns need walkers or canes, but all the sisters continue to walk every day, said Tanguay.

The sisters have to brave the heat, but it's a way to recognize the tireless efforts of health-care workers, she said, noting that walking in the heat wearing a habit is nothing compared to workers in full PPE.

"We wanted to manifest our sympathy and our solidarity with them," she said.

Mayor joins for last walk

Quebec City Mayor Régis Labeaume joined the sisters for their final stroll on July 4, when they announced that they had raised $135,000 for frontline workers. 

"This is more than we could have hoped for, and we're very happy," Tanguay said. 

She said the sisters surpassed their original fundraising goal of $100,000 by day 11 of a planned 20. 

Labeaume said the efforts of caretakers became especially clear to him these last few months, while he helped care for his ill father. 

He spoke about the emotional challenges of taking care of loved ones, and said his experience helped him realize the importance of the work.

With files from Radio-Canada