Friends, in his Angelus message yesterday, Pope Francis asked that Christians throughout the world pray the Our Father for an end to the COVID-19 pandemic “several times a day, but all together . . . this coming Wednesday, 25 March, at noon,” which would be 7 a.m. EDT.
The Pope also announced that this Friday at 6 p.m. (1 p.m. EDT), he would lead a prayer service in front of St. Peter’s Basilica, concluding with a special Urbi et Orbi blessing. The Vatican will live-stream the event.
Let’s all join the Pope and our fellow Christians in praying the Lord’s Prayer, especially this Wednesday at 7 a.m.
Amidst COVID-19 Cancellations, College Students Grieve Lost Opportunities
Among the many shocks the COVID-19 virus has brought was the very unexpected, mid-year return of college students, arriving on our doorstep in various states of emotional turmoil with no clarity on what the future holds. While some may experience a seamless re-entry, many families are struggling to adjust to a “new normal” that has no precedent.
If your college student is having trouble adapting, or seems unusually sad or despondent, some psychologists say it may help to consider what they’re going through in the context of loss and bereavement. This is particularly true for college seniors, many of whom have received heartbreaking news that college is over, and graduation is cancelled with no goodbyes. Others had study abroad trips cut short just as they were adjusting to a new and exciting life. Still others grieve the loss of springtime at college, often one of the more joyful and fun times of the year.
“I’ll never get back the spring of my sophomore year,” my daughter lamented a week ago. Gone are the well-laid plans for a sorority spring formal, the highly-anticipated annual campus-wide dance marathon fundraiser, hanging around the quad catching rays in the warm sun, and just, well, being in college. Hearing about these losses, it was easy to see that she was in a state of grief.
Recognizing that our kids are grieving can help us help them. Many experts say the most important thing we can do is to let our kids express their feelings fully, without judgment or quick advice. Experiencing grief is different for everyone. Some move forward quickly, others need time to process, express emotions, and let it sink in. Make sure to do regular emotional check-ins, and if your child seems really stuck or persistently down, consider getting some professional help from a mental health provider.
As praying college moms, our mission now is clearer and more important than ever. There is so much to pray for! And remember, even though our kids are grown up, they still watch everything we do, especially in times of trial. So let’s make the most of the situation and consider it an added bonus to model a life of prayer and trust in God in the most uncertain of times.
What We as Catholics Can Do From Our Side: COVID-19
When my children were younger, I read them a story about a big turnip that would not come out of the ground. The little boy pulled and pulled, but couldn’t pull it out. So he got help from his parents, their neighbors, then the horse, then the cow, then the goat, and finally the rooster. Still it didn’t come out of the ground. Finally, in a small, wee voice he kindly asked the fairy in charge of this turnip to release the root, and let the turnip come out. She heard him. They pulled one last time and all came tumbling on top of each other as, and the turnip came out. Now it’s time for a big turnip stew for all! My children laughed, and fell back on the floor; something about strength and endurance, and using other realms was the tacit understanding here…and maybe for us!
So here we are, using varied ways to navigate through taking care of ourselves, our family, and our community with the threat of COVID-19 (the turnip): schools and businesses closed, social distancing, frequent hand washing, hand sanitizing, sanitizing surfaces, and masks if needed.
We all want it to go away, or be controlled; all valid and necessary. So we HAVE to depend on each other to pull this virus out of the ground, like that stubborn turnip. There is the initiative of private research drug companies working non-stop, the CDC, local and national health services, local hospitals and health care workers, stocking of food pantries, social distancing, our media, the National Guards called out, perhaps the USA Military will be deployed to help in dense populations areas, the setting up of makeshift hospital sites…all pulling to get the virus out. Determination yes; but is it enough? Read more ...
Shared by St. John Neumann, Reston VA
Daily Readings USCCB
Loyola Press 3 minute retreat for Lent
Ronald Rolheiser video Compassion as Jesus Practiced it
Taize Prayer Service
ValLimar Jansen proclaiming the Woman at the Well
Word on Fire
From the Diocese of Arlington
We have established a COVID-19 resources page that has already been populated with a number of opportunities to remain strong in the faith, including churches which offer a live stream of daily Mass. More will follow and we will add to this section as we become informed of what parishes are offering. https://www.arlingtondiocese.org/covid19resources/
Praying College Moms Rosary
While we are social distancing, we still join together virtually in prayer by offering a Holy Rosary for our young adults, ages 17 to 27. We pray for their moral strength, good mental and physical health, successful support in their studies, exams, and career, and strengthening of their Faith. We pray for over 600 students, each by name.
Spanish Version Now Available!
. . . And So We Pray: Guidance for Moms with College-Aged Young Adults by Maribeth Harper
Maribeth's books are available on Amazon, in Catholic Bookstores and on Kindle.
Don't Miss the February Edition of Maribeth Harper's Blog at andsowepray.com
Click here for Maribeth's February 2020 Blog - and all of her other blogs.
PCM Annual Prayer Retreat
“And Mary Kept All These Things, Reflecting On Them In Her Heart” Luke 2:19
PCM's celebrated Mass together with Fr. Bill Quigley at Mount Tabor to open their annual PCM Prayer Retreat: Be Still and Know on February 22. Thank you to our retreat facilitators: Frances Chamberlin, OCDS, and Luanne Griffin, Candidate for a Post Graduate degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling/Divine Mercy University. Your shared grace and wisdom brought peace to the retreatants.