We are living in storied times. A time of stories that will shape our history.
When I grew up, in the 60s everyone was fearful of a nuclear war. The Cuban Missile Crisis was in all the news and the Earth held its breath.
Fallout shelter plans, designed to enable families to shelter in place and survive a nuclear attack, were all the rage and appeared in newspapers, magazines, and television. There were songs on the AM radio stations like “The Eve of Destruction” by P.F. Sloan and performed by Barry McGuire that became anthems for a generation living under the threat of a mushroom cloud.
Now rather than sheltering from a nuclear blast, we shelter in place from a threat labeled COVID-19, a Coronavirus. These days the red spikey images of the virus appearing in our media provide a vivid mean micro monster to fill our minds with dread. We watch the infection rate spike rather than flatten.
Our world is holding its breath once again.
A virus (from Latin for poison) exists in a grey area as an undefined form of life that requires living host cells - and for COVID-19, that’s us. Scientific expertise provides the knowledge to best minimize the risk and survive this current pandemic. Stay away from each other. The fallout from this contagion requires that we isolate at home to protect others and ourselves.
We anguish over not seeing loved ones for fear of infecting them. Yet, we are responding as good citizens with a Christian sensibility to do no harm and to protect others. We have adapted and found inspired creative solutions to overcome the restrictions of isolation and social distancing.
Masses are live-streamed, televised, and play on radio stations – in multiple languages. People in our faith community are praying together in their homes using internet solutions, perhaps more so now. Groups find the means to perform Corporal Works of Mercy despite the challenges.
There are hundreds of good stories to share.
As much as possible, we would like to document all of the good works you do and share them with our readers. To cover what is happening within our communities of Faith, we desperately need your help collecting stories, photographs, and videos – tell us the who, what, when, where, and why. In order to accommodate the media that will be coming in, we have launched this new Southern Cross web site. Please forgive us if it seems incomplete – the old site is still accessible and archived materials will be available here soon. In the meantime, please tell us how you and your family are staying close to Our Lord and to the diocesan community. Items can be posted here or emailed to email@example.com.
There is a song titled “The Song of the Body of Christ” by David Haas. I first heard it played by the contemporary choir at Holy Name of Mary Church in Croton on Hudson, NY. As a journalist, its refrain holds great significance for me. It goes, like this, “We come to share our story. We come to break the bread. We come to know our rising from the dead.”
In these times, we cannot break the bread together. Still, we can come together online – in this marvelous medium to tell our stories of shared Faith. Please share your stories with us so that we may share them with others.
And, remember, read the Southern Cross and put Faith in your opinions.
Michael J. Johnson