On Saturday, March 14, 2020, Fr. Mike Conway, Br. Al Vu and I flew from Turin to Munich, then to Amsterdam. On Sunday, March 15, we arrived in JFK. We were leaving GC28, which ended three weeks early. Now, it has been an entire year that we have been living in a time of pandemic! Throughout this year, through memos, Salesian News, and social media, we have been able to communicate what we have done as a response to this crisis. Now is a good time to pause and consider: What have we learned? What is God saying to us? What choices do we make going forward? This edition of Salesian News is dedicated to the reflections of our SDB communities one year into the pandemic. It is not a record of activities; it is an interpretation of our experiences. This type of reflection will help us make better choices as we go forward.
On many occasions this year, the Holy Father has guided us to reflect more deeply on this time of pandemic. In his video message to the 75th General Assembly of the UN, September 25, 2020, he concluded: “We never emerge from a crisis just as we were. We come out either better or worse. This is why, at this critical juncture, it is our duty to rethink the future of our common home and our common project…The present crisis has forced us to think clearly about how we want to emerge from this: either better or worse.”
Even as we start preparing budgets for the next fiscal year, developing calendars of activities, and finalizing assignments, it is worth taking the time to reflect, individually and together, on our experiences this year, so we can emerge better.
Fr. Tim Zak