When I celebrated my 1st Anniversary of Ordination on February 9, 2020 (which feels like a lifetime ago) I was revelling in the joys of the first year of Priesthood, and looking forward to all the great things in store- continuing to minister at a thriving Parish, continuing to build our Campus Ministry program at the University of Windsor, going on a tour of Italy with a choir I used to sing with while I was in Formation, and much more!
Little did I know that within a month of that anniversary- everything would change, and so many of the things I was looking forward to just wouldn’t happen. Instead, I’ve learned all about how to set up and manage a live stream, how to edit videos, how to manage Social Media… and a whole host of other things I never would have even dreamed of doing- all in an effort to continue to spread the Gospel during the shutdown. As we’ve come to terms with the reality of pandemic shutdowns, physical distancing, changed ways of worship, restrictions on travel, and so many other things, one quote from The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring has kept coming to mind:
“I wish it need not have happened in my time;” said Frodo.
“So do I” said Gandalf, “and so do all who live to see such times. But that is not for them to decide. All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us.”
It’s easy to wish, with our dear friend Frodo, that none of this had ever happened- that the pandemic was not a thing. But Gandalf’s words are wise, and remind us that when the circumstances of life are out of our control, all we can do is choose how we respond to the situations we are faced with.
Throughout the Pandemic, my biggest question has been “How is God at work in all of this?” Answering that question has helped me to keep things in perspective, and helped me to remember that God is still with us, even in the midst of so much suffering and loss. It was a great joy to read an earlier post on this blog, in which so many of the younger religious throughout Canada expressed the ways in which they were finding grace in the pandemic. I’ve seen many examples of God’s grace at work myself: from parishioners who have aided elderly members of our community by picking up their groceries and prescriptions for them, to the massive, community organized food drive that took place in Windsor and Essex County, which collected over 2 million pounds of food!
May we continue to be aware of the presence of God’s grace in our lives, as we continue to navigate the uncertainty of this Pandemic, and seek to continue to bring the Gospel message into the world.
Fr. Steven Huber, CSB
Assumption Parish, Windsor