Looking back to late March, when our team was working on a special magazine edition on COVID-19, it would be safe to say that we didn’t really know what was to come.In addition to the fear and worry that many experienced as the disease was spreading, there was a pervasive sense of disruption just before Holy Week, when so many of us expect to be focused on the practice of our faith. Our Bishop, priests and parish ministers immediately set about to bring order to what felt very much out of control. Parameters were established, resources were developed and solutions were found so that the faithful could still experience a Holy Week and Easter in as meaningful a way as possible, given the limitations that safety required.

Now, with the most fearful and uncertain days behind us, it is wonderful to see God’s grace at work in the men, women and children who are doing so much to help their brothers and sisters get through this difficult time. The stories in this issue of The Monitor Magazine highlight the work that they are doing – from feeding the hungry and homeless, and showing support for those who care for us and provide for our needs, to thanking the teachers and parents who are making virtual learning possible for our children.

We see the same heroic efforts shown by our priests and others who are finding whatever ways they can to provide pastoral care to the faithful, particularly those who are struggling because they cannot attend Mass in our churches. Between livestreaming Masses, staying connected through video messaging and engaging their parishioners in programs and projects, our parish leaders are demonstrating in new ways their sense of mission in a time when it is very much needed.

In all of these endeavors, we are reminded of the message that Pope Francis recently shared about the need for “the creativity of love” at this time.  Our love for one another must drive us to find new ways to be present, to make a difference.  The Holy Father stated, “Let us try, if we can, to make the best use of this time: let us be generous; let us help those in need in our neighborhood; let us look out for the loneliest people, perhaps by telephone or social networks; let us pray to the Lord for those who are in difficulty in Italy and in the world. Even if we are isolated, thought and spirit can go far with the creativity of love. This is what we need today: the creativity of love.”

That is exactly what has been unfolding throughout the communities of the Diocese during this last month. And we are privileged to bring our readers the many accounts that reflect “the creativity of love.”