July 24, 2020


COVID-19 challenges are a time to remember we are never alone

We can agree that the past four-plus months have been anything but normal for those of us in central and southern Indiana.

And that statement is true for all of us in the United States, and for millions of people around the globe.

Here in Indiana, lessons in the classroom were cut short in mid-March

for the duration of the 2019-20 academic year, leading to online learning. Workplaces shut down for the safety of employees, resulting in people working from home for unprecedented periods of time. People of all faith traditions—including Catholics—were unable to worship in their churches in person and encouraged to grow in their lives of faith via online services.

As historians write about 2020, we know for certain it will be remembered as the year of COVID-19 and all that came to pass as a result of the coronavirus. As of July 20, the virus has killed more than 600,000 people in the world—including more than 143,000 thus far in the U.S. In Indiana, nearly 2,700 people have died as of July 21.

We are approaching the end of July, and many parents and their children are wondering how the 2020-21 school year will evolve.

Some schools have already committed to virtual learning to begin the new academic year, while others, at the moment, say they will begin back in the classroom.

Many individuals have returned to work in their offices, but some companies are still asking employees to work from home.

Mass has been celebrated in many archdiocesan churches for more than a month, but the Indiana bishops, including Indianapolis Archbishop Charles C. Thompson, extended the dispensation for the obligation to participate in Mass on Sundays to all the faithful until Aug. 15.

Even though the Mass feels different these days—with appropriate social distancing and churches requiring parishioners to wear masks during liturgies—we are grateful to again receive the Eucharist at public celebrations of Masses. We must always remember that, as St. John Paul II said, it is the greatest gift of our Catholic faith.

We are also grateful to again be able to regularly receive other sacraments, including reconciliation.

As we continue on our journey through COVID-19 and all future challenges, let us always pray for God’s healing for all those affected and remind ourselves: Jesus is with us every step of the way—and carrying us when necessary.

Now, more than ever, may we always remember that we are never alone.

—Mike Krokos

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