In his book, Let Us Dream, Pope Francis said: “We must not let the clarifying moment pass us by. Let it not be said, in years to come, that in response to the coronavirus we failed to act to restore the dignity of our peoples, to recover our memory and to remember our roots.”
Days before the very beginning of the lockdowns in our country, I went to midday Mass and it was to be 108 days till I next received Our Lord in Holy Communion. Fortunately, as the months passed, I was able to visit church for Eucharistic adoration, but I missed physically receiving the Lord in Communion and my church visits were very much private affairs.
At that Mass, the priest spoke of us entering a different kind of fast, a deeper one, and in that fast I was made to reflect on my participation, my life of faith.
Alan Saunders is headteacher of St Joseph's Primary School, Warrington.
Being the voice of our brothers and sisters
Like many teachers, Alan Saunders went online during Lockdown. But he soon saw a way of sharing more than his lessons.
Perhaps in my faith, I was becoming too insular, too navel-gazing. So I decided to reach out more in my privileged role as the headteacher of a Catholic primary school.
I have begun sharing my reflections on what it means to be a Catholic not for who we call practising but for our parents and their families and friends who have not been touched by that grace or, perhaps, have been turned off by our sinfulness and hypocrisy or maybe even our lack of vibrancy.
I read about the often-vitriolic fall-out following the Pope Francis’s motu proprio, Traditionis Custodes, and I believe it right for the Holy Father to act in this way. I believe we must remind ourselves about the Mass being the source and summit of our Christian life and that as we receive the Eucharist we are truly fed by the Body and Blood of Christ.
We are not to stock up on grace each week for Him not to touch our daily lives. As we are fed, we need to share our joy with the world. We must accompany our sisters and brothers around us.
We must be a voice in the pain of our world today – in Afghanistan and Haiti, with the vulnerable, the rejected, with our LGBTQ+ brothers and sisters, with those who see no place for them as part of His Church.