Chris DiMaso | July 29, 2020
Daily life is being affected by Covid in every way. Masks replaced smiles and staying at home replaced vacations. For the residents of Villa St. Francis, life looks much different too. Once the halls teamed with activity, now only nurses and CNAs travel the corridors. Shared meals and large group activities filled the dining hall, but now socially distant tables allow for staff breaks. The residents miss their friends and the fun activities they shared together. For the faithful, Covid has interrupted an important part of their life. With the restrictions on gatherings, Mass and Bible study have changed too.
In the New Testament, the Greek word ekklesia is used 115 times. Modern translations interpret this word as “church”, but the meaning is much more poignant. The literal definition is an assembly called-out from their homes to a meeting place. While “church” is a fine translation, it was never intended to mean the building. Ekklesia is about the fellowship of the people. For now, that needs to look different.
We celebrate Mass every day at Villa St. Francis! Residents aren’t allowed to join in person, but thanks to our television system, the worship service is available to everyone. We have two dedicated channels that are helping to bridge the gap during this difficult time. Channel 55 is a live feed from the chapel that allows Monsignor Burger to share the liturgy. A stationary camera captures the altar and pulpit. Audio is enabled which allows for residents to pray and sing as if they were in the chapel. Communion is delivered by nuns during the service to anyone requesting to receive the Eucharist.
As we at Villa St. Francis are responding to the changing dynamic of life in quarantine, we are also finding new ways to facilitate faith. A recent addition to our television system, channel 53, allows us to share YouTube videos with the residents. We aren’t sharing cat videos though, this channel is full of great content. One such example is Maureen Kelly’s Bible study. It wasn’t too long ago that residents would gather together to dive into God’s Word. As that isn’t possible right now, we are bringing it to them directly. For twenty minutes, Maureen shares the meaning of biblical stories and delivers sage application to resident’s lives. The video below is the first Bible study being shared with residents on the television.
Incorporating faith into daily life is one of the ways we are providing the best quality care to our residents.