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Chaplain's Reflections
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Rev. Kristin Sullivan, School Chaplain

Finding unexpected blessings

It has been a tough couple of weeks in what has already been a really hard year. Between rising COVID cases and the political unrest that we have seen bubble over, everyone’s stress levels are high. My kids and I have been home this past week in quarantine like many other middle school teachers and students, and while it has been challenging, I found unexpected blessings and glimmers of God’s work.

On the other side of the zoom lens, I have found myself looking out into a classroom full of kids, which has given me a completely different understanding of what life is like for our home learners. At the same time, I have gotten to see some of these same home learners up close on a screen in a way that I am not usually able to while in the classroom—an unexpected blessing. My home office sits between my 7th grader’s room and the family room where my 1st grader has been doing her online school. Between classes, I have been able to hear snippets of what goes on in my children’s classrooms, and it is incredible! The work that our teachers do to keep kids engaged and learning is spectacular—another unexpected blessing. But for me, the biggest unexpected blessing came on Wednesday when I got to watch my daughter see Kamala Harris sworn in as the first woman Vice President of the United States. Light in the darkness, a world of possibility opened, blessings in the storm.

I came across a poem this week called Lockdown that was written last March at the beginning of the pandemic. It speaks of the pain and anxiety of the time we live in and the unexpected blessings of these times. This week I pray that you are able to find your own unexpected blessings and that they lighten and brighten your day.    


FR. Richard Hendrick, OFM

Yes there is fear.

Yes there is isolation.

Yes there is panic buying.

Yes there is sickness.

Yes there is even death.


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,



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