“We need to remember that circumstances don’t make a person, they reveal a person.”Emma Jameson
A close friend of mine shared this quote with me yesterday when referring to some of the workers at his business. I instantly thought of how it applies to the community here at St. Isidore. I think there is no denying that we are living in uncertain times. There is good reason for each of us to be a little scared. The health of those around us is compromised and the economy is at a gridlock. But our community has responded with the opposite of fear, we have responded with more courage than anyone could have ever envisioned.
This is quite the opposite of many other church communities, and I think we should be very proud of our response to this crisis. Instead of shutting down our operations, we have ramped up our outreach. Our staff has completely refocused our energy to ensure we are caring for the community in any way possible. We have extended an incredible Mass offering on a weekly basis. Many people have commented we have the best product in the entire Archdiocese, and I would argue that our broadcast of the Mass is one of the best in the state and maybe the entire country! Fr. Ron’s daily homilies have united us and inspired us to continue operating with great hope.
Our Baby Pantry and SVdP Food Pantry are operating at full tilt. Our strategy has been to clear the shelves of product so we can help those in need. The result of this type of approach has allowed us to increase the extent of our good will, and because these organizations are being funded at an unprecedented pace, we have been able to secure any food/financial shortages as a result of our generosity. We have made calls and received calls extending comfort to people throughout the community. Our Blood Drive this weekend is fully booked with donors. We have received donation upon donation of food and supplies.
Our financial support has not dropped as far as most churches. Our Easter collection was just shy of last year’s, despite the fact we only offered Mass online. Our community has made unheard of and humbling sacrifices, as we have received multiple donations at unprecedented levels. We have heard stories of people offering their stimulus check to the community, foregoing vacations and/or home remodeling, or simply pulling from savings (or retirement) to offer extended support. This exceeds any expectation we would ever have of members of our community. It is hard to properly thank people for this type of sacrifice; I have been more humbled over the last 30 days than I have in my first 30 years of working for the Church.
Thank you to everyone who has been part of this special commissioning of our community. There are truly too many people to thank by name, but you know who you are, and we thank you. The people of St. Isidore have responded in a way that is simply incredible. The circumstances of our current situation have not made us, we were already wonderfully made, but it has been an absolute honor to witness what the current situation has revealed about our community. Thank you for being part of such an awesome revelation.