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[caption id="attachment_170887" align="aligncenter" width="800"]"Lent and Easter during the covid-19 pandemic" by Pam Spano (CatholicMom.com) Copyright 2020 Pam Spano. All rights reserved.[/caption]

Whether you are a cradle Catholic or a convert like me, this has probably been the strangest Lent and Easter of your lifetime. Not being able to attend Mass has been a painful and challenging experience.

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My husband, oldest son and I were last at church on March 13, 2020 to lead the singing for the Stations of the Cross at St. Therese Chinese Catholic Church. That Friday, Fr. Li announced the closing of the church. I felt like I had just walked into the funeral of a loved one.

Shortly after that, my husband got the call that the retirement home where he is the choir director was also closed due to the pandemic. My heart broke for the residents. Mass is very important to them. This must be very frightening for them as they are all at high risk for the virus.

During this time, my Magnificat and my Every Sacred Sunday journal became my church. Our combined parishes of St. Therese & St. Barbara began the process of making videos for parishioners. My Being Catholic … Really Facebook page was a great source of comfort to me, as we all found ourselves in the Groundhog Day movie. People began to find ways to share their faith in ways we could not have done had this happened twenty years ago.

Boredom set in quickly as I was used to going out and doing different things. I soon became grateful for the boredom. None of us were sick and we had toilet paper!

Eventually, I found things to do and I began to change my route when I walked.

There have been disappointments. I was to travel this year. My brand-new passport sits in a drawer waiting to begin the journey. I have been praying to St. Rocco (patron saint of pandemics) and St. Christopher (patron saint of travel) to end this. My own selfishness has emerged.

As we continue on this unknown journey, I pray for all to be healthy, for our lives to return to “normal,” and that we all grow in faith, finding our own comfort and blessings in our new experience of church.

Copyright 2020 Pam Spano