My Dear Parishioners,
This was supposed to be the weekend for our young people to receive their First Holy Communion. Of course because of the coronavirus, that cannot take place. Please pray for our young people and their families who have to wait a little while longer to receive our Lord in the Holy Eucharist.
Rather than focusing on what we cannot do, I thought it might be good to reflect on what we can do. I found the following reflection on the US Bishops’ website.
The Corporal Works of Mercy during the Covid 19 pandemic
The Corporal Works of Mercy are found in the teachings of Jesus and give us a model for
how we should treat all others, as if they were Christ in disguise; they “are charitable actions by which we help our neighbors in their bodily needs” (U.S. Catholic Catechism for Adults).
FEED THE HUNGRY
- Check in with your parish community to see if there are parishioners who cannot (or should not) go grocery shopping themselves.
- Check in with your parish to see if the food pantry is adequately stocked.
- Organize a network of volunteers in each parish/community to grocery shop for parishioners in need, especially the more vulnerable populations in our community.
GIVE DRINK TO THE THIRSTY
- Do not purchase or hoard more water than you need.
- While handwashing is vitally important, make an effort not to waste water—in solidarity with our brothers and sisters in Christ who do not have access to clean water and suffer from the lack of this basic necessity.
SHELTER THE HOMELESS
- Consider donating toiletries and sanitary items to a local shelter since those who suffer homelessness—and the facilities that minister to them—are especially vulnerable at this time.
- Financially support organizations that are working to support the homeless population in your community.
VISIT THE SICK
- While in-person visits are not advisable during this time, please invest time in reaching out via phone/video call or by sending a letter or card to those who may feel particularly isolated during this time.
- Offer to assist caregivers of chronically sick family members by grocery shopping or cooking for them so they do not have to risk exposure.
- Reach out to health care workers in your community who may be overworked, burdened, or in need of specific support at this time.
VISIT THE PRISONERS
- Explore whether your parish or diocese has a prison ministry and, if so, check whether they are in need of supplies or support.
- Given that people in prison can be especially isolated and vulnerable during this pandemic, consider how to support those who are ministering to them and bringing them the Word of God.
BURY THE DEAD
- Now that funerals may be limited or restricted, reach out with cards or phone calls to those who have recently lost a loved one.
- If possible, visit the cemetery to pray for those you have lost—and to ask their intercession on behalf of all those facing death today.
GIVE ALMS TO THE POOR
- Reach out to those who may have been especially burdened during this pandemic, especially those whose occupations make them more vulnerable to economic instability.
- Remember that the lack of public celebration of Masses may result in parishes struggling financially in the next few months; be sure to continue your support and if possible, increase offerings for those who cannot donate due recent financial hardship or inability to work.
- Remember that Catholic Relief Services continues to serve the most vulnerable and consider making a donation or praying for them as you are able.
God Bless You,