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Keeping the Faith in Quarantine:
No doubt the past year has presented a host of new challenges to students and parents alike as we all continue to adjust to various guidelines and restrictions in an effort to stem the spread of COVID-19. Among the most profound of those challenges for Catholics has been the closing of churches and the suspension of the public celebration of the mass. However, under the tremendous pastoral care of our archbishop and our priests, and with the assistance of media technology, we all still have ways of remaining connected to our Faith and to one another. Masses are live-streamed on a daily basis, as are a variety of prayers and devotions. If your parish does not have FORMED, or if you have not yet signed up, now is a perfect time, as formed is completely free for the next 40 days (simply go to formed.org to sign up). Other free resources include Magnificat, a wonderful monthly booklet that contains the readings for mass, profiles of saints, daily meditations, and an abbreviated version of the liturgy of the hours. The app and the online version are free for the next 30 days. (https://tinyurl.com/magnificatfree) and the Divine Office, also known as the liturgy of the hours. This is a way to join bishops, priests, sisters, and Catholics the world over in the official daily prayer of the Church. (divineoffice.org).
With all of the technology and media-driven resources available, I want to offer a final suggestion that goes in the opposite direction. If you don’t have in your home, now would be a great time to create a family shrine or prayer corner. Place a crucifix, images or statues of saints, candles, and a family Bible. This can become the beating heart of your domestic church over these next few weeks. Finally, I want to conclude with the words of the late Indianapolis Archbishop Daniel Buechlein, who would say at the end of his remarks to seniors at graduation, “If you pray, every day, in your own way, everything will be ok.” God Bless.