Finding God During a Pandemic

Dear Friends,

Lent looks very different now than it did at the beginning. These weeks have been packed full of voices clamoring for our attention — all the news, disrupted routines, school closures, economic uncertainty, and recommendations from medical experts and political leaders.

St. Ignatius, I think, would remind us that paying attention to what is happening in our heads and hearts is especially important right now. Do not let the clamor outside overwhelm you. Pay attention to your emotions and what is happening within.

Fear and anxiety are particularly palpable this week. Through the Spiritual Exercises, we learn that such feelings must be discerned, for they can easily push us away from God. When we are able to recognize these movements within us, we can resist (with God's help) their power to consume, and instead root ourselves in greater faith, hope, and loving service.

Below are some resources for prayer, meditation, and reflection. While we cannot go to Mass or gather with friends, let us remember that God is with us. We are not alone.

May Christ the Healer be with the sick, may He protect those caring for them, and may He draw us closer to Himself amidst so much uncertainty.

In Christ,

Rev. George M. Witt, SJ
Executive Director

Prayers and Reflections to Help During this Time

Each day brings an inundation of news stories and uncertainty about what the future holds. Here, we have collected some of the best prayers and reflections that we have seen.

Pope Francis' Urbi et orbi

Pope Francis meditated on the calming of the storm from the Gospel of Mark during last week's prayer service over which he presided on the steps of St Peter's Basilica on Friday evening. 

Click here to watch the video and read the full text.

COVID-19: Discerning a path to God

"The current experience of COVID -19 is showing us many things about ourselves and our world. In particular, I want to focus on how it is lighting up various aspects of our path to God and how, even in difficult times, there is consolation to be found."

Click here to watch Fr. Arturo Sosa's message as the Society of Jesus, in solidarity with the whole world, lives in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic.

Webinar: The Jesuit Mission in a Time of Uncertainty and COVID-19

Fr. General Arturo Sosa, Superior General of the Society of Jesus, spoke to Jesuits, Jesuit partners, and people of good will around the world about the challenges of looking forward in a time of uncertainty.

Click here to watch this webinar with Fr. Sosa.

A Coronavirus Prayer

Jesus Christ, you traveled through towns and villages “curing every disease and illness.” At your command, the sick were made well. Come to our aid now, in the midst of the global spread of the coronavirus, that we may experience your healing love.

Click here for the full prayer in English. In Spanish. In Italian.

Spirituality in a Time of Quarantine

"What would Jesus do? Jesus would tell you to stay home for your own good and the good of your neighbor.

But is that it? As Christians, we know that spirituality is not just about avoiding evil. It is also about doing good. Every crisis is an opportunity to do good. Here are some suggestions about what individuals, families, neighbors and parishes can do during this quarantine." Click here for more.

Reflections and Resources in Light of COVID-19

An Examen for Life During COVID-19

Responding in Prayer, Reflection, and Solidarity: Coronavirus Resources, as the Jesuit and broader Catholic network responds in unique ways with love, compassion, and new means of building community, ISN will compile them in this space.

Hope & Community in the Time of Coronavirus, a reflection by Rachel Drotar, from ISN's daily Lenten reflection series, Radical Hope: Lent 2020

Coronavirus: A Reminder that We Are All Connected, a letter to students from Dr. Philip Metres, professor of English and the director of the peace, justice, and human rights program at John Carroll University.

Coronavirus: News, Reflections, and Analysis

Faith in the time of Coronavirus, by Fr. James Martin, S.J.

Pope Francis' Prayer to Mary During Coronavirus Pandemic

How Catholics Should Respond to Coronavirus, by the Editors

When I’m Social Distancing I Need Christ: Resources to Finding God During the Coronavirus Pandemic

We have put together a list of resources that could aid your discovering God’s presence through virtual communities in a time of social distancing.

Information from AJCU on the Impact of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) on Jesuit Colleges and Universities

As of Monday, March 16, staff members for the Association of Jesuit Colleges and Universities (AJCU) are working from home for at least the next two weeks. Click here for links to webpages with information from Jesuit colleges and universities on ways that they are addressing the coronavirus (COVID-19) on their campuses, along with video messages from presidents.

A Meditation for the Anxious During COVID-19

"Become aware of your breath. Breathe in. Breathe out. Breathe in. Breathe out.

Bring your breathing under control. It’s hard. We’re in uncertain times, uncharted waters. Our breaths might be short, panicked. We may have forgotten to breathe all together..."

Click here to read the entire meditation.

Pray at Home Resources

Pray at home resources during this time.

Interactive Rosary and Stations of the Cross

Join us by conference call for an interactive Rosary, every day at 12:00 PM (EDT) To join us in prayer, please call this number a few minutes before 12:00pm (EDT): (646) 769-9900 (Conference ID:  07960#).

Interactive Stations of the Cross, led by Rev. George Collins, S.J., every day (including weekends), at 6:30pm (EDT). To join in the stations, please call this number a few minutes before 6:30pm (EDT): (646) 769-9900 (Conference ID:  07960#).

Online Ignatian Resources for Lent 2020

As we come to terms with what the coronavirus and associated quarantining and social distancing have done to upset our lives, we still seek solace in the spirituality of our faith and this Lenten season. Click here for a list of resources from the greater Jesuit and Ignatian community.

Read more.

Parishes Live-Streaming Masses

During this time of Mass cancellations, suspensions and closures, many Catholic churches around the country are still able to celebrate Mass and offer live-streams for those of us unable to attend in person.

Our Lady of Hope (Portland, ME) Radio Mass of Baltimore Paulist Fathers' Motherhouse (NYC)

Mon-Fri: 9am, 7pm

Sat: 4:30pm; Sun: 7am, 9am

St. Ignatius Church (Baltimore, MD)
live video stream or audio only

Sun: 9:00am, 6:00pm

Mon-Fri: 12:10pm

Sun: 10am, 12:30pm (Spanish), 5:15pm

St. Raphael (Raleigh, NC)

St. Thomas More (Atlanta, GA)

St. Francis Xavier (NYC)
Sun: 9:30am, 2:30pm (Spanish) Link to Daily Masses Sun: 11:30am

Click here for a full listing of the Jesuit parishes and ministries live-streaming Mass every day of the week, courtesy of America Media.


a poem by Lynn Ungar

What if you thought of it
as the Jews consider the Sabbath—
the most sacred of times?
Cease from travel.
Cease from buying and selling.
Give up, just for now,
on trying to make the world
different than it is.
Sing. Pray. Touch only those
to whom you commit your life.
Center down.
And when your body has become still,
reach out with your heart.
Know that we are connected
in ways that are terrifying and beautiful.
(You could hardly deny it now.)
Know that our lives
are in one another’s hands.
(Surely, that has come clear.)
Do not reach out your hands.
Reach out your heart.
Reach out your words.
Reach out all the tendrils
of compassion that move, invisibly,
where we cannot touch.
Promise this world your love–
for better or for worse,
in sickness and in health,
so long as we all shall live.

Recent News

In this live online program, Dr. Karen Shields Wright will reflect on the commandment “Love thy Neighbor as Thyself” and what that looks like in the midst of a pandemic. What is the spiritual call to care for self and how does honoring that call, in momentary and intentional ways, naturally support flourishing and balance in body and soul? What are the ways to access the peace that surpasses understanding and, in doing so, maintain balance in this time of collective uncertainty?

These 40 days of Lent are an opportunity to deepen our spiritual lives and, as St. Ignatian would say in the Exercises, “to reflect and to take advantage” of the richness of the readings that we will hear. Watch these short video reflections on the Sunday Gospels.

March 5, 2020 - This month Pope Francis is asking us to join him in praying for Catholics in China. "Let us pray together that the Church in China may persevere in its faithfulness to the Gospel and grow in unity."

March 4, 2020 — We invite you to join us in praying the Novena of Grace of Saint Francis Xavier (March 4-12).

March 1, 2020 - Last year, the Jesuits announced four new Universal Apostolic Preferences. One of these preferences was "To collaborate in the care of our Common Home," a call to protect the environment. To help answer this call, we will be sharing a series of monthly ecology reflections.

February 27, 2020 – The Lenten season is a journey that invites us to reflect more deeply on the life of Christ and the mysteries of our faith. In preparing for this journey, the spiritual traveler needs tools, resources and direction. If you're looking for assistance in your journey this Lent, you're in the right place.

Feb. 10, 2020 - This month Pope Francis is asking us to join him in praying to hear the cries of migrants. "We pray that the cries of our migrant brothers and sisters, victims of criminal human smuggling and human trafficking, may be heard and considered."

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