• Gladwin Damasus Pereira

Coping With The Pandemic – Family Perspectives

Be Encouraged Be Edified Be Inspired

It’s the Year of the Family 2021 – 2022 and in lieu of the Second Theme based on Amoris Laetitia, ‘The Changing Scenario Of The Family’ , The Family Cell of St. Michael’s Parish Mahim decided to convene a Zoom Session on the Topic, ‘Coping With The Pandemic – Family Perspectives’.

The Zoom Session was held on 25th April 2021 from 5:00 pm to 6:30 pm for the Parishioners. It started with the Prayer to the Holy Family from ‘Amoris Laetitia’ – Pope Francis, which was read by the head of The Family Cell. Considering that the second phase of the Pandemic was spreading within the family, the support from the members of the family was the need of the hour. To move away from all the negativity that flashed on the news channels, the positivity could only come out by the sharing of one’s story on the challenges of these changing times. The first story came from a school girl who shared how Online classes could be real fun with the new mode of study and the support from the family that was at home. Likewise, the College student echoed the same and mastered the art of group chat and online games. Even the teacher in her struggle to conduct her class learnt more from the students. For all three it was something unique to remember even though it was tough times. The young lady who moved from her home (a comfort zone) to another state (a highly containment area) on a job transfer ultimately found herself a sole paying guest in a building where everyone gradually left to return home after cases kept increasing, while she regularly went to work and returned home, found courage in hearing mass and prime time prayer time aired online from St. Michael’s Mahim, thanks to OLPS site.

A young woman lost her job during the pandemic. She found support from family and friends and joined an NGO. Being a member of the Legion of Mary, she found support and relief through prayers. Later when the Lockdown was relaxed, she was called back but she turned down the offer. She just couldn’t accept that a multinational organisation couldn’t take care of it’ s staff in a pandemic. A woman lost her husband during the pandemic. He was under treatment at Raheja Hospital. The youth from the parish along with her son managed his visits to the hospital for dialysis during the lockdown. She was thankful to the priests and the Parish that helped her during those difficult days. Often, we see a smiling face, but behind that smile there is tremendous pain and suffering. What can be more encouraging than giving some time to parish work! Working in a pathology lab can be quite depressing when patients come often for routine tests and other related tests, but two weeks later they are no more. Well, that’s life for paramedics. Looking after your old neighbour and preparing some of their delicacies is always a pleasure , but with the new wave of the pandemic visiting them is putting them to risk. It was pleasant listening to the challenges people have faced and how they came out stronger.

Finally, the spiritual head of the Family Cell shared his challenge of dealing with his two families. The bigger one was the Parish and the team of priests. The task of spiritually nourishing the parishioners through Social Media, a big challenge which was very much appreciated not only by local parishioners but all over the world. The two old priests that the parish houses had to be taken care of. One fell sick and had to be hospitalised, while the other was tested Covid Positive. He was taken care of in his room and was helped solely by the parish priest. The smaller one was his family at home. The session ended with the final blessing by the Spiritual head of the cell.


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