“Does the life of our Jesus animate
us? Do we indeed give Him the
true service of the heart without
which whatever else we give has
no value?”

St. Elizabeth Ann Seton


“When so rich a
harvest is before
us why do we not 
gather it? All is in
our hands if we
but use it”

St. Elizabeth Seton


Finding the Good in Difficult Days: S. Juanita Marie Gonzales Reflects on a Pandemic

Juanita Marie GonzalesAs the director of the Faith Formation Program at San Isidro parish in Santa Fe, New Mexico, S. Juanita Marie Gonzales reflects on how the COVID-19 pandemic has affected parish life and her ministry.

This was a season of Lent I will never forget – not being able to attend Holy Mass or to receive Christ in Holy Communion was different, in addition to not celebrating the Sacrament of Reconciliation before Easter and of course the celebration of the Resurrection of our Divine Lord. The celebrations of Holy Mass on EWTN (the Eternal Word Television Network) were really beautiful and this was my first experience with spiritual Communions. I know I have grown spiritually in my relationship to my divine Lord and my Blessed Mother.

With in-person gatherings and meetings unable to take place, I did reach out to our parents preparing their children for First Eucharist. I asked them to continue preparing their children as they have the books and they know how I met with the children and discussed each chapter with them.

Several parishioners called throughout the months to ask if I needed anything and I was very grateful. I have also been so impressed with those that weekly brought their donations to the office and also food for the poor.

In recent weeks we have once again begun the celebration of Holy Mass, which is wonderful – but that too is different. Father prays the whole Mass and then after the final blessing we receive Christ as we leave the building so that there is no gathering of people. Everybody goes to their cars and leaves, but we are at least grateful to have the Holy Mass and to receive Christ.

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