St. Charles family, how are you holding up? For those of you that don’t know me, I’m Josephine Dongbang and before these unprecedented times, I usually attended the 7 PM Mass.
But let’s talk about these unprecedented times. Every morning, I hear about folks losing jobs and businesses, Asian Americans being attacked and even assaulted, healthcare professionals falling ill on the front lines because they don’t have masks, and neighbors having to say farewell to loved ones over the phone because they must maintain distance. It breaks my heart every day and it brings tears to my eyes (again) as I write this. I, as I’m sure many of you, have also been personally impacted by the pandemic. It makes all of my prior problems feel so trivial and in these moments of despair and weakness, I am humbled knowing that we have so little control.
How did it get so bad? Why does God allow suffering in our world? I don’t know if we can ever know, but a family friend recommended that I read Job and also sent this great overview of Job (https://youtu.be/xQwnH8th_fs) which helps me to believe in a greater purpose. Relatedly, in this week’s St. Charles at Home episode, we explore Diane and Joe Genova’s reflection with Fr. Bill, discussing Flannery O’Connor’s story Revelation and the pandemic. It is difficult to stay optimistic during these dark times but they discuss channeling hardship to re-focus our priorities.
For the Parish Pastoral Council, our St. Charles family is at the top of our priorities. We are here for you and continue to seek ways to better serve you through these dark times. We will continue to provide online spiritual programs and keep you in our prayers. If you need assistance with picking up groceries or medication, we and a list of parish volunteers are all ready to help. If we are not meeting your needs, please let us know how we can serve you, and if you want to help, please also let us know.
We have so little control in how the pandemic will play out, but what we can do is love one another, help each other, and pray together. I find hope for better days in the acts of kindness I have witnessed and the strong sense of faith and trust in God that my sisters and brothers in Christ have shown me. So thank you for being a source of light in the darkness and please continue to share that light. We are all in this together and together we will endure.
Keeping all of you in my prayers,
Josephine Dongbang on behalf of the Parish Pastoral Council:
Donna Whiteford, Francis Chin, Kerin Coughlin, Carol DeSantis Price, Josephine Dongbang, Mike McGowan, Phil Murray, Jane Olsen