We invite Dehonians, co-workers and other collaborators in SCJ ministry to share their personal reflections regarding the impact of the coronavirus (COVID-19) in their lives and their communities. The following is from Celsus Robert, a student at Sacred Heart Seminary and School of Theology in postulancy, preparing for novitiate.
This epidemic hit us at a time when the Church was calling us into solidarity with each other during Lent. It was a time for deeper self-reflection and sacrifice; therefore, for me it was an easy transition into being creative and making the best out of this crisis. Some of us started a novena to the Divine Heart and then moved into more devotions and personal prayers, including Stations of the Cross.
The transition to online classes went fine for me, although the caseload became heavier with more online posting and discussions. I was able to utilize Zoom for most of my classes, and with this, I was still able to interact with my fellow classmates. Although it is relaxing and comfortable to have classes sitting at your desk in your own room, doing assignments at my own pace, it came with a cost. Sitting for long hours at the desk had an effect on me, I started developing lower back pain this past week. But this is really the only bad effect of the online coursework for me.
I’ve had more free time to do things which I had been putting on hold. I tended to my little nursery in my room and out in the hallway, I spend more time praying and reading, and most of all I spend more time catching up on calls and emails which I had for too long not returned.
Overall, this Stay-at-Home order and transition to online education has been a productive time for me. I am able to spend more time with my fellow brothers in community. I spend more time using the indoor fitness center as well as playing indoor soccer with members of the community. Some of us even started cooking more often and inviting others to partake. Therefore, there have been benefits to this time, including a closer bond with God and with others around me. I have not let this moment break me. “WHAT DOESN’T KILL YOU, MAKES YOU STRONGER!” This is how I feel as I come to the end of the semester of online classes.