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Immaculate Conception Parish Picnic

Friday, 05/20/2022 at 5:00 PM -
Saturday, 05/21/2022 at 11:00 PM

Mary, Queen of Peace clothing and furniture drive

Saturday, 05/21/2022 at 8:30 AM -
Sunday, 05/22/2022 at 4:00 PM

Centennial Concert

Sunday, 05/22/2022 at 2:00 PM - 3:30 PM

Speaker Jason Evert - for teens and parents

Thursday, 05/26/2022 at 6:30 PM - 8:30 PM

Mass at St. Patrick (Armagh) Old Rock Church

Monday, 05/30/2022 at 10:30 AM - 4:00 PM

Reflect retreat for mid-life singles

Friday, 06/03/2022 at 5:30 PM -
Sunday, 06/05/2022 at 3:30 PM

Holy Hour for priestly and religious vocations

Friday, 06/03/2022 at 7:00 PM - 8:00 PM

Joyful & Alive Conversation

Tuesday, 06/07/2022 at 7:00 PM - 8:00 PM

Gabriel's Retreat-A Retreat for those Expecting the Unexpected

Friday, 06/10/2022 at 6:00 PM -
Sunday, 06/12/2022 at 6:00 PM

EDITORIAL | Hope can be found through the grief of a pandemic

As we emerge from a pandemic, we remember those who are grieving, and find hope in the resurrection

Nearly a year and a half after the SARS-CoV-2 virus and the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, we’re beginning to see a positive shift. Vaccines have been introduced, cases are dropping and guidelines on masking and social distancing are changing.

The word pandemic shouldn’t be taken lightly, though, because it’s not over. In this week’s edition, we highlight the grief of Catholics at Our Lady of Guadalupe Parish and School who have lost loved ones from the virus and the struggles of the Church in India to help victims.

While the number of COVID-related deaths has declined in the United States in recent months, there have been 583,074 COVID-related deaths in the United States as of mid-May, according to the Centers for Disease Control.

Our Lady of Guadalupe recently held a prayer service to remember the deceased. Parishioners and school families also held each other up in prayer via email and WhatsApp, and found support through men’s and women’s Emmaus groups. Our Lady of Guadalupe also held a prayer service in November to remember the deceased.

Our Church is called to remember those who have died from the virus, but also to provide outreach to those who remain and are grieving losses. “If we don’t reach out to the brokenhearted, if we don’t offer comfort to the grieving, who else is God counting on?” said Our Lady of Guadalupe pastor Father Eric Olsen. “Christ is counting on us to share His mercy and to share with others to experience His love.”

It’s fair to ask the question, how and when will this pandemic end? While it’s unclear, we see signs of hope. New guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control state that those who have been fully vaccinated do not need to wear masks anymore; the Archdiocese of St. Louis recently issued a statement noting that parishes may re-evaluate mask guidelines, capacity restrictions and social-distancing measures. And the archdiocese is getting closer to a decision on lifting the dispensation from attending Sunday Masses. That said, fewer than half of Americans over the age of 18 are fully vaccinated. We still have a way to go.

Even in the grief that many have experienced in the pandemic, we find hope in Jesus. After His death and resurrection, Jesus encountered the disciples on the road to Emmaus. The disciples’ hopes had been dashed, but yet Jesus restored them, telling them He brings hope to them and to the world. Through His death, we find our hope in the resurrection.

“How do we carry on our lives without our loved ones present? Jesus invites us to that new challenge, that new unknown in our lives, just like the apostles,” said Sister Cathy Doherty, SSND, pastoral associate at Our Lady of Guadalupe. “That’s where we need to continue to open ourselves to the Holy Spirit. We carry the memories of hope, of gratitude, of what that person meant to us,” Sister Cathy said. “The spirit can give us a life filled with memories, filled with gratitude, to continue on.”

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