For many of you, the workweek is coming to it’s Friday conclusion. After our town hall meeting yesterday, I thought it important to share a favorite quote from Prime Minister Winston Churchill who led Britain through World War II.
“The pessimist sees difficulty in every opportunity. The optimist sees opportunity in every difficulty.” Winston Churchill
Yesterday when I conducted our national townhall webcast (Click here to watch or listen: CFCS: Ministering on the Front Lines 3-26-2020), it dawned on me that this is not a temporary crisis that will be averted, where we will go back to our lives pre-coronavirus. In fact, things are going to get a lot worse, before they get better. We may likely see a surge in funeral and cemetery services anywhere from the next few weeks to a couple of months from now. Two weeks ago I didn’t like to share such news so publicly, because I wasn’t sure everyone was ready for the truth. I don’t want to be the “pessimist”, but rather the voice of hope. I mentioned yesterday that we will open, honest, and transparent. Sometimes that means being the bearer of bad news.
Today, I am drafting a message to the bishops and leadership teams in each diocese trying to impart with them some of these same facts. More importantly, I want to share the “opportunity”, that will encourage them to lead our Church forward. You may be asking yourself what “opportunity” is presented to us from this difficulty. First of all, we have already been taking advantage of the first opportunity: to communicate, to protect, and to serve. These lessons have been etched in our culture and I am sure that this will propel us forward after the crisis has subsided.
There are also a different set of “opportunities” that are presenting themselves. This is where the hard work begins for many of us working behind the front lines. Right now we are analyzing data like never before, we are looking at supply chains, and we are looking at how our Catholic cemeteries will support our funeral directors and clergy as they minister to families in the future. I never thought we would be the “leadership” for this, but I have seen numerous funeral homes, non-Catholic cemetery operators, and parish priests asking our cemetery directors for direction. Leadership is formed during a time of crisis.
With our belief that God will only give us what we can handle, maybe now is the time that we welcome the difficulties that have been placed in front of us. We would love to hear what new “opportunities” you see.
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Have a great weekend. Stay safe. Enjoy your family.
With blessings and gratitude,