Can you believe Lent begins in less than a month? It’s our 3rd Lent in a Global Pandemic (may it be our last!), so I thought we could use a new idea for what to do as a parish. (Full Disclosure, this is actually an old idea a friend used to do at his parish when he was the pastor years ago.)
I can be easily captured by a good headline, and this one caught me today: “Have we lost our sense of discipleship during the pandemic? Here are ways to reengage.” I moved during the pandemic and find myself at a new parish. Getting involved when there’s nothing but Mass happening on a regular basis has been hard. I love my new parish’s Liturgical Style, I even see some familiar faces each week, but I haven’t found a strong sense of community yet. I haven’t gotten deeply ingrained in the community yet – and the reason? Maybe a bit of my introverted self, but also we don’t know how to build community in the middle of a pandemic.
I began my career in ministry as a Confirmation Coordinator. I was tasked with ensuring all 200 of the candidates at my parish were properly prepared – knew their 7 Sacraments, 10 Commandments, 7 Gifts of the Holy Spirit, 12 Fruits of the Holy Spirit, and what Confirmation was and wasn’t (graduation). When I started I knew 2 of those 5, I’d never memorized the gifts or fruits, and beyond the half-a-class discussion about Confirmation I’d had in my Canon Law – Sacraments class, I’d never considered what Confirmation really was, even being a Confirmed Catholic.