Hi Everyone,

It has been a while since I communicated with all of you. We are in the days of confinement and also in the days of anticipation, as talks of lifting restrictions entice us to dream of returning to some sort of “normal”. With live-in dual worlds, some of us confined to work from home and others who report to the cemeteries and funeral homes every day. This is certainly difficult, and produces a lot of anxiety in all of us responsible for those on the front lines. Our first priority is to assure everyone that we will take the utmost precaution in any next steps. Safety is primary.

Today I want to draw to share with you a quote from Pope Francis as he spoke last week to the experience of church and faith, to all of us feeling “confined” by the pandemic. He reminds us that the Church starts in our home:

You ask me about a “home Church”. We have to respond to our confinement with all our creativity. We can either get depressed and alienated – through media that can take us out of our reality – or we can get creative. At home we need an apostolic creativity, a creativity shorn of so many useless things, but with a yearning to express our faith in community, as the people of God. So: to be in lockdown, but yearning, with that memory that yearns and begets hope – this is what will help us escape our confinement.

Responding to our Confinement with all our Creativity

It is not easy to lead or inspire those around us when the path is unclear. Pope Francis is one leader who reminds us that we need to be creative and to inspire in the absence of a clear direction. Bringing this closer to our mission, I wanted to share three examples:

  1. Catholic Extension: Many of you know about our friends at Catholic Extension. They too have a daily communication that they share with their staff who all work remotely. Yesterday they sent us a slide deck that helps us all to laugh and smile. Yes, there is a bit of church humor too. A great deck to share at a staff meeting.
  1. Zoom Meetings: Every so often I have to marvel at the little steps that staff are taking to break help each other get through the day creatively. I attached three pictures from CFCS Detroit’s staff. One day they had a contest to see who come up with the best Zoom background.
  1. Comfort Video: Just today I received an advance copy of a video that our communication department created that picks up on our call to be creative in our ministry to families. We will be posting this on our Shepherds Hour of Need web-site as well as through other social media sites.. To watch this 60-second spot click here: https://f.io/8x7ZZoCW.

My prayers continue for each of you. We share a solidarity in our mission. We will continue to focus on employee safety and creative ways that we can comfort and console families through these difficult days of isolation. 

As an organization, we are focused on reviewing how we will adjust to upcoming changes to “shelter in place” restrictions. Our top priority will be to communicate guidelines and policies that will continue to keep everyone safe.

With blessings and gratitude,