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By Michel Therrien, Crisis Magazine, April 28, 2020
Michel Therrien is the President and CEO of Preambula Group, a nonprofit lay apostolate dedicated to the work of the new evangelization. He has taught at Saint Vincent Seminary and the Augustine Institute and served as president of the Institute for Pastoral Leadership in the Diocese of Pittsburgh.
We’re all hoping that life will return to “normal” in a few weeks, at least to some extent. We’re also hearing (often from the same source) that life will never be the same because of COVID-19. Obviously, we all want certain things to return to normal as soon as possible. We want to receive the sacraments and go back to work. We also want an end to (or at least a lessening of) the social distancing measures. Yet some things should never return to normal. God has embedded some important lessons that we need to learn from this experience, and which we would be wise to retain.
The most evident is how innovative clergy and ministry leaders have become in helping people stay connected to their parish and our mission as Christ’s own Body. We’ve seen a revolution in the use of social media, for example—or at least it has been a revolution for Catholic parishes. Beyond the live-streamed daily events and the push for online giving, we’ve seen people gathering over Zoom for Bible study, or to pray the rosary together. We’ve seen a proliferation of guides to at-home activities parents can do with their children, now that they’re actually able to spend time with each other. While some souls will sadly fall away now that their Sunday Mass routine has been broken, I for one have seen various members of Christ’s body being awakened out of their spiritual atrophy. ….