Vocations News: Coping with COVID-19 and Come and Sees
Yes, 2020 has been quite a year. We managed to get in a couple visits with inquiring women before COVID became a byword and seeming harbinger of all that could go wrong with the year 2020. By lockdown in March it was hoped a few weeks would be sufficient to dispel the plague of 2020. Now, as the fall season approaches with lifts and more lock downs and Advent promises to arrive quickly, many wouldn’t be blamed for thinking things will never get back to ‘normal’. Even the phrase ‘new normal’ really can’t fit this strange culture of permanent distancing and sanitization. And yet…who really defines normal?
Take the normal process of discerning a vocation to the religious life. Correspondence, a building relationship, an in person visit or visits (Come and See) to experience a little bit of the life, further education and learning, entrance….etc. All the predictable steps that were standard now have a virus template to adapt to. And with our limited capacity to communicate via the internet in our neck of the woods, video meetings over a computer wouldn’t be just another strange hurdle to learn, they would be cost prohibitive given our data caps. You would think with this new COVID-19 ’normal’ that, between social distancing and communications obstacles, we would have to forego welcoming inquirers, candidates, and aspirants. But who really defines normal? God. He can work around EVERYTHING.
So this fall and God willing, into the new year as well, we’ve scheduled women for Come and See experiences, suitably adapted to the precautions of coronavirus. We plan on sharing lots of information and communication in both directions….just not any germs or viruses! It demands creativity, flexibility, and ingenuity. Perhaps we can add the live video stuff someday but for now, God’s providing!