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UPMC Cole

Monday, March 23, 2020

Letter in Time of Coronavirus Pandemic

Dear Readers and Neighbors,

By now the new reality of life has set in and it is very different for the vast majority of people. Every day it seems we are awakening to the gravity of the moment and the threatening effects and devastating power of the current pandemic. First and foremost there are the people who are suffering and dying as a result of this virus. Secondly there are the medical personnel and first responders who are working tirelessly around the clock to care for the sick in their communities. Thirdly there is the local, state, and national civic authorities who are organizing efforts, implementing measures, and taking initiative to provide supplies, ensure our safety, and save the lives of countless Americans. Finally, there are those whose lives are temporarily on hold. Many in this latter category have various concerns, worries, and anxieties. Numerous people want to help and don’t know how. Several are so use to activity, working, and running that they are finding it difficult to remain still and the news reports sometimes make it difficult to be calm and at peace.

I received an e-mail from a medical professional who was lying awake and had trouble falling asleep. It read as follows: “In the span of 24 hours 3 of my patients have had to be intubated and sent to ICU.” The e-mail continued, “The third was a young mother. There are no visitors allowed so she had to FaceTime her family she hasn’t seen in over a week and tell them that she loves them and goodbye before we put her to sleep. She asks me what her chances are she’ll survive and wake up and I don’t know what to tell her. We haven’t been in this long enough to gauge but the grim reality is we are seeing almost no one come off the vent and those that do often get worse and go back on.”

I recently spoke to a woman who won’t be able to see her mother, whom she regularly visits in an assisted care facility. She is the only regular visitor that her mother has in the area. Although she knows these measures are in the residents’ best interest, the thought of her mother not being visited and checked on daily brought her to tears and is a source of worry and anxiety.

I do not write this letter thinking that my voice is unique nor am I under the impression that my words carry much gravity, but as a Priest, Pastor, and Shepherd of Souls I write to you as a familiar voice and an empathetic heart reaching out to all of you in your homes, especially to those who may be alone, knowing that you and your loved ones may be enduring a silent suffering that takes various forms and I wanted to acknowledge that suffering, those concerns, anxieties, and worries, and offer the comfort of a familiar voice, a recognizable presence and assure you of my prayers and concern for you and your loved ones.

This pandemic can seem big, frightening, and overwhelming but people of faith know of a presence much larger and far more powerful. This virus may seem invasive and far-reaching but there is a light that reaches to the four corners of the world, to the ends of the universe, and into the darkest recesses of our lives; a light that the darkness has not overcome. (Jn 1:5) In this time of uncertainty, quite waiting, and suffering we may not know what the future holds, but we know who holds our future. (Is 49:16) Keep the Faith! Stay strong! Finally, like the Israelites of old, locked up in their homes with their families with the blood of the lamb painted above their doors, waiting for death to Passover them, Let us turn to God in prayer and allow this period to be a time of grace, a time of peaceful encounter with God the Father, with Jesus Christ Our Lord, the Prince of Peace, and with the Holy Spirit.

With Every Good Wish and Prayer,

Rev. James C. Campbell

Pastor of St. Eulalia Church and St. Gabriel Church

7 comments :

Tom Maynard said...

Well said. Thank you. Thank you Jesus. Tom Maynard

Unknown said...

Thank you!!

Anonymous said...

I thought Reverend Campbell wrote the letter.

Anonymous said...

This post is worth reading several times, including reading aloud. Let the truth here saturate your soul. Jesus patiently awaits our turning to Him.

Anonymous said...

Thank you Father James.

Anonymous said...

2nd Chron, 7:14; “If My People who are called by My Name, shall humble themselves, seek My Face & pray, turn from our wicked ways & Ill forgive you of your sins , I will hear from Heaven & I will HEAL YOUR LAND !!” Amen & Amen,

Anonymous said...

That’s what it says Rev Campbell not Father, He’s Pastor of the Catholic Church