By Deacon Dennis Rivest
Peace be you!
Two months into this Coronavirus Pandemic “lockdown” has left me with many emotions. I am deeply saddened that our churches are closed and we are unable to gather and have access to the Sacraments.
As a deacon I struggle with the closures and not being able to serve but I understand the logic and necessity behind this decision. I enjoyed the online Easter Triduum and being able to partake in the Good Friday Liturgy, but it was difficult to balance the joy of the celebrations with my grief of not being physically present.
In our ministry of charity, deacons are to go beyond the church walls to encounter the poor, sick and isolated. During this time, people need to see a smile, hear a kind voice, be encouraged and offered hope. I felt I should be visiting people, but yet I know that is a risk for me, but more importantly, I could be putting the very people I wanted to be present to at great risk.
After much prayer I accepted my situation. I believe that as a deacon it is very important to stand in solidarity, united with you, as faithful disciples patiently yearning for the time to gather as community to receive the Risen Lord.
I have been able to reach out to people by phone, email and Facebook. We are truly blessed that we can gather electronically and now by phone streaming. I am grateful to Fr John and Fr Pedro for livestreaming Mass and other liturgies, like the Novenas, allowing us to stay connected spiritually.
I’m fortunate to be able to work from home, the commute is much shorter, which I love, although I‘m not working any less. It seems the pleasure we experienced at the start of the lockdown has vanished and is now a nuisance. As anxiety and stress increase we seek some sort of normalcy to our routines.
I especially remember and pray for those who are experiencing job loss, and financial struggles, not to mention those having children home from school, getting upset with the absence of their friends, graduations, proms and year end trips. I get that! I had to cancel a trip to sunny Phoenix and postpone our daughter’s wedding!
These events that we sacrifice now seem to fail in comparison to the dangers and sacrifices that our front line and essential workers face and make for us everyday. I am thankful and pray for them. Going forward, things will be different!
I don’t know what the future will bring, but I do know we needed to slow down, to reconnect on a deeper level with each other and understand what is really important and not take things for granted.
As a Resurrection people, we know God is with us! We will come through this together as faithful disciples reaching out to all. I encourage you, as difficult as it is, be patient, stay home and be safe.
Go in the peace of Christ,
A PRAYER FOR PROTECTION IN TIME OF PANDEMIC
(Knights of Columbus)
O Mary, you always brighten our path as a sign of salvation and of hope. We entrust ourselves to you, Health of the Sick, who, at the Cross, took part in Jesus’ pain while remaining steadfast in faith.
O loving Mother, you know what we need, and we are confident you will provide for us as at Cana in Galilee. Intercede for us with your Son Jesus, the Divine Physician, for those who have fallen ill, for those who are vulnerable, and for those who have died. Intercede also for those charged with protecting the health and safety of others and for those who are tending to the sick and seeking a cure.
Help us, O Mother of Divine Love, to conform to the will of the Father and to do as we are told by Jesus, who took upon himself our sufferings and carried our sorrows, so as to lead us, through the Cross, to the glory of the Resurrection. Amen.
Under thy protection we seek refuge, O Holy Mother of God.
In our needs, despise not our petitions, but deliver us always from all dangers, O glorious and blessed Virgin. Amen.