Readers share how they are coping

Source: The Record
By Marnie McAllister
April 16, 2020

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Heeding the call of Gov. Andy Beshear and Archbishop Joseph E. Kurtz Kentuckians are, for the most part, doing their civic and moral duty to stay at home during the COVID-19 pandemic.

But how do we do that healthfully, when we are deprived of the things that nourish our hearts? Family parties, Mass, sporting events — they’re all out of reach.

Fortunately, we’re an Easter people — we believe in the resurrection and the promise of new life. That sense of hope is guiding Catholics around the Archdiocese of Louisville through the pandemic.

More than 50 people shared with The Record’s readers how they’re coping, particularly where they find hope. Mary Holder and her husband are dealing directly with the virus. An Assumption senior says she’s found reasons to stay positive. Ursuline Sister Mary Lee Hansen asks us to consider, “What has my hand done for others during this pandemic?”

Read their stories and those of others from around the archdiocese — the voices of children, clergy, religious and parents. Each tells a story of hope and compassion.

Abbie Trowbridge, director of Mission & Pastoral Care, Nazareth Home Clifton
As the Director of Mission and Pastoral Care at Nazareth Home Clifton, the largest part of my job is to support and enhance the spiritual health and wellbeing of our elders, their families and our staff members. All three populations are currently facing unique challenges.

Staff are facing many new challenges at home from making ends meet to finding safe and reliable childcare. There are many added distractions and worries on their minds. The administrative team, along with many outside supporters, have come together to offer encouragement and support from every direction — from delicious catered lunches to beautiful homemade masks.

It is also been a challenging time for our families, but they have been understanding and (most importantly) have followed all of the safety guidelines that we have put in place to keep our elders safe and healthy. Visits with family and friends are a huge part of one’s spiritual wellbeing and so understandably this has been a huge concern for us. We have been orchestrating meet-ups through closed windows and on FaceTime, family reunions with Zoom and we’ve arranged calls from other countries through WhatsApp. This complex ballet of virtual pastoral care has been a labor of love for our entire staff.

But the most striking thing for me has been the strength and resilience of our elders in the face of this pandemic. I am constantly amazed at how they take this all in their stride, lacking any self-pity or upset. I look forward with hope to the day that our elders can worship together again.

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