by Jayvee Dacasin
Things are not the same. My family had to adjust to the new “normal”. My mother, Mauricia, and sister, Samantha are frontline workers. My mother works at Veteran Affairs Hospital in New York. Samantha works at Clara Maass Medical Center in Belleville. As registered nurses in the intensive care unit and emergency department retrospectively, they have taken precautionary measures to prevent bringing COVID-19 into our home. My sister Keysha is a speech therapist for the Board of Education in West New York and continues to provide teletherapy to families throughout the week. Though weary, they still meet the needs of others.
As my family had to adapt to new work routines, I did too. I am in my fourth year undergraduate at Seton Hall University. In March, Seton Hall cancelled the semester, which led to the unmotivating burden of online courses. However, I was able to keep my grades consistent through perseverance.
I am the youth ministry intern at OLM. After the stay-at-home order was implemented, our youth ministry meetings were cancelled and the youth were not able to gather together in person. After about a month, we begandoing virtual meetings on Zoom. Though many of us can use technology to stay connected in these trying times, it does not compare to the personal connections found in regular meetings.
Many have been suffering over these past months. It pains and angers me that the youth are going through traumatic experiences. Whether it be feelings of loneliness, stress, or grief and loss, these youth are feeling all these heavy emotions at a heightened level since they are in an intense period of life. My heart also aches for the black community who are frustrated and suffering many injustices and racism.
It is certainly hard to feel God’s presence at this moment. Despite this, I constantly remind the youth that we are gifted with the power of love. With God’s love, we can show compassion to the sick and suffering. We can act with kindness to the needy and less fortunate. We can heal the pain and hurt. Love means a promise of responsibility and of sacrifice. We as Catholics must spread God’s love and work for the good of others at this time. As I tell the youth, God is good, all the time. Even in times of chaos and pain. May God’s love get us through it all