For now, Mass is on hold. If the news has created a shock wave across Quebec in recent days, the reasons cited amply justify the means. Indeed, everyone, and all the more the Church, wants to serve as a guardian for the weakest and most vulnerable in the face of COVID-19, and to participate, as citizens and Christians, in a collective effort.

No more mass, but certainly no absence of faith, prayer and fraternity. To make you smile and rekindle the flame a little, here is a short list of some inventive initiatives taken by different members of the Archdiocese of Montreal, and elsewhere in Quebec, to break isolation and continue to nurture our relationship with Jesus, in a safe way! These are just a few examples of creative pastoral care. It’s your turn to let your imagination run wild! 

1- Spiritual support at the other end of the line:

Spiritual support is available by telephone to allow those who feel the need to talk and find an ear and comfort (1-888-305-0994). This service is offered by SASMAD, a spiritual accompaniment service for sick or elderly people in the Diocese of Montreal.  You can also call your parish by leaving a message and a callback number. 

2- Audio and video capsules to feed your thinking:

To help you move forward through Lent, there are several possibilities, including short daily videos. The capsules of Archbishop Christian Lépine, “Care of the Soul,” are available on the Catholic Church in Montreal  YouTube channel and on the Diocese of Montreal Facebook page.

Each week a reflection on the Gospel read on Sunday is also available on the same platforms. These two options are in French and in English.

Consider accessing Zephir. TV , the web TV of the diocese of Saint-Hyacinthe, which offers you during Lent one-minute capsules,  “A question to faith”,  for 40 days. The EDCQ website  (Diocese of Quebec) also offers various video capsules. 

3- Think of the poorest and most isolated:

The challenge  “One person every day”  consists of  calling on a daily basis  someone who is alone or isolated during this difficult time, particularly someone vulnerable to the disease (e.g. the elderly). This idea comes from the Saint-Thomas-d’Aquin parish of the Diocese of Quebec. 

4- Online discussion group:

The Benoît Lacroix Student Center has not canceled the event it had scheduled,  “Faith without filter: Overconsumption vs Privation? ”  , but rather offers a suitable formula ONLINE!  The evening of discussion will take place on a telecommunications platform.

Other parishes also offer  alternatives, such as the parish of Sainte-Madelaine d’Outremont and a thousand other beautiful little things that happen everywhere!

In short, let us all continue to let Christ’s presence and generosity radiate through our creativity and hope! For God walks with us, his people.