Stella Maris Catholic Parish

Parish Office Phone

(07) 5443 3488

Lockdown

Brother Richard Hendrick, a Capuchin Franciscan living in Ireland, has penned a touching poem about coronavirus.

Fr Richard Hendrick OFM

Brother Richard is a priest-friar of the Irish branch of the Capuchin Franciscan Order.

For over twenty years he has worked to bring the insights of the Christian contemplative tradition to greater public awareness, particularly with reference to modern mindfulness theory.

He served as director of youth ministry for the Irish Capuchins for over ten years and has worked extensively at both secondary and third level as a retreat-giver and chaplain.

He is one of the core developers of the Shekinah Youth Retreat Ministry Training Programme. He has also worked in hospital and prison relief chaplaincy roles and in parish work and was head of chaplaincy in UCC for three years.

Isolation

Yes there is fear.

Yes there is isolation.

Yes there is panic buying.

Yes there is sickness.

Yes there is even death.

But,

They say that in Wuhan after so many years of noise

You can hear the birds again.

They say that after just a few weeks of quiet

The sky is no longer thick with fumes

But blue and grey and clear.

They say that in the streets of Assisi

People are singing to each other

across the empty squares,

keeping their windows open

so that those who are alone

may hear the sounds of family around them.

They say that a hotel in the West of Ireland

Is offering free meals and delivery to the housebound.

Today a young woman I know

is busy spreading fliers with her number

through the neighbourhood

So that the elders may have someone to call on.

Today Churches, Synagogues, Mosques and Temples

are preparing to welcome

and shelter the homeless, the sick, the weary

All over the world people are slowing down and reflecting

All over the world people are looking at their neighbours in a new way

All over the world people are waking up to a new reality

To how big we really are.

To how little control we really have.

To what really matters.

To Love.

So we pray and we remember that

Yes there is fear.

But there does not have to be hate.

Yes there is isolation.

But there does not have to be loneliness.

Yes there is panic buying.

But there does not have to be meanness.

Yes there is sickness.

But there does not have to be disease of the soul

Yes there is even death.

But there can always be a rebirth of love.

Wake to the choices you make as to how to live now.

Today, breathe.

Listen, behind the factory noises of your panic

The birds are singing again

The sky is clearing,

Spring is coming,

And we are always encompassed by Love.

Open the windows of your soul

And though you may not be able

to touch across the empty square,

Sing

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