During this challenging time of COVID-19, it is easy to concentrate on the negative aspects of this pandemic. Certainly, we are not able to pray together as a parish community as we are so accustomed. We are struggling as we are unable to gather for our special cultural feasts – baptisms, quinceañeras, weddings, anniversaries, funerals, Our Lady of Guadalupe, posadas, etc. And, among our Hispanic brothers and sisters who live and work in close proximity to one another, the disease seems to run rampant.

However, there are some awesome blessings, too. Families are eating meals together. They are praying the rosary together. They are taking time to exercise outdoors. Many Hispanics are imbued with a deep, contemplative spirit and they are finding time to meditate in nature. There is an opportunity for our elders to pass on the traditions of recalling and cooking family recipes, rather than gathering at restaurants.

And, too, we have a special blessing with the use of technology – Zoom meetings, Facebook and other social media tools. I see many posts of people taking time to reach out to family and friends and share encouraging or inspiring quotes, as well as a good smattering of humor – which so sustains the Latino heart!

May God continue to bless us with creative means to sustain our need to gather and celebrate with one another. And may Our Lady’s mantle envelope us!