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Celebrating Easter in our homes and hearts

Holy Week
Posted on 04/05/2020

Jesus said to her, "I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live, even though they die; and whoever lives by believing in me will never die. Do you believe this?"

- John 11:25-26


Perhaps the most important of all of the holidays on our Christian calendar is Easter. It’s a time when we gather together as families and communities of faith to acknowledge and celebrate the most fundamental foundation of our beliefs: that Jesus Christ was resurrected from the grave, demonstrating for all of humanity that eternal life is achievable for those who live according to His doctrine of service and love.


This Easter, however, will be dramatically different. The COVID-19 pandemic has brought a stark new reality and we will not be able to participate in the usual cherished and time-honoured traditions that make Easter such a precious occasion.


As we head into Holy Week, under normal conditions we would be celebrating mass in our schools with our parish priests and there would be many lessons in our classrooms about the story of how Jesus died for our sins and ascended to Heaven. Our campus ministers would be extremely busy preparing the way for our Easter observations, and our students would be looking forward to celebrating mass with their families and friends in their local parishes.


But these are not normal conditions. This week, both the Ontario government and our local health unit released some predictive models demonstrating just how potentially devastating this pandemic could be if we don’t strictly follow the social distancing rules that have been put in place to prevent its further spread. Thousands of lives could be lost right here in Windsor-Essex if we don’t adhere to the plan.


One of the most elemental lessons that Jesus taught us was through his exemplary care and practical love for the vulnerable and the sick. Staying home and observing those social distancing protocols is one of the best ways of following His example. In doing so, we will prevent this virus from spreading further and greatly reduce the likelihood of those who may be vulnerable and predisposed to it from becoming gravely ill. 


This in no way means that we cannot still observe and celebrate Easter in our homes and in our hearts. It just means that we need to do it differently. We can stay in our homes and pray together with our immediate families. We can openly share our hopes and fears, and reaffirm our faith together, certain in the knowledge that God’s love for us is infinite and unconditional. 


I am offering here a link to a wonderful prayer resource provided to us by Reverend Michael Bechard, Director of Liturgy at the Diocese of London. These prayers are not intended to replace the liturgies of Holy Week. Rather, they are intended to assist families, as the Domestic Church, to honour the cycle of the Triduum from their homes while public celebration is not possible.   


In conclusion, I pray that all of our students, our staff and their families are remaining healthy and are strictly following the rules that have been put in place to prevent the spread of COVID-19. I pray that you are remaining steadfast in your faith and are following the example of Jesus. Most importantly, I pray that the message of love, the resurrection and the promise of eternal life resonates in your hearts.


Sincerely,


Terry Lyons

Director of Education


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