“Stuck inside these four walls
Sent inside forever
Never seeing no one” – Paul McCartney and Wings, Band on the Run.
These lyrics by Paul McCartney might have been about people wishing to break out of prison, but they probably resonance with many of us currently in lockdown.
On Tuesday night, The FaithFeed Conversations encouraged us to see how God is active in our lives at home and finding little joys in lockdown.
Held as part of the Diocese of Parramatta’s HOME Ground program, Pastoral Formation Officer Donnie Velasco facilitated a discussion on faith and life in lockdown. Participants came from across the Diocese of Parramatta, with many from the Local Government Areas with the strictest lockdowns in the state, with a few logging on from other dioceses as well.
The discussion revealed the different ways people are dealing with lockdown, starting with a discussion of what it means to be at home.
Andy, a young person in our Diocese, spoke about his move to Australia, which had previously been documented through another Diocesan initiative, The FaithFeed.
He explained his challenges in making Sydney his home and finding a place where he belonged. Andy’s passion for reading was able to help him in this transitional stage of his life, creating “my new cultural pathway – a pathway of meaning and connection, of belonging and possibility, of courage and of vision, a life of fullness in a new place.”
This resonated with one participant, who recalled interviewing a Maltese migrant about if they feel more Australian or Maltese. “I love Malta like my mother and Australia like my wife – I love them both differently but equally.”
The group were asked what activities, hobbies and interests they have picked up during lockdown. Many revealed how their spirituality is helping them through these times.
Dilani explained that being part of the Catholic Charismatic Renewal movement in the Diocese, she has found that lockdown has given her more quiet time and more space for God and prayer. She is on Zoom almost daily for prayer and worship services.
Participant Indira admitted it hasn’t been easy for her living as a single person in lockdown. She misses seeing people in person. However, being artistically creative and reading the poetry of David White and John O’Donohue, has sustained her during this time.
Alexander’s hobbies have given him a sense of purpose and a way to cope with his sadness on missing out on receiving the Sacraments at this time. He finds solace in participating in daily rosaries online with friends, as he trusts in Our Lady.
“I feel like everyone should consider praying a rosary, whether it’s in the morning or the evening. It might change everything, you might find more solace in that and Mary may guide you to do other things,” he said.
Next week, HOME Ground will host a special online scripture night with friend of the Diocese, Dr Laurie Woods.
Dr Woods will be presenting on ‘Jesus and the Healing Power of Encouragement’ live on the Diocese of Parramatta’s Facebook page next Tuesday 24 August at 7pm.
After three successful weeks, our HOME Ground program is set to continue to bring people together online. Keep an eye out for our updated schedule of other HOME Ground events at parracatholic.org/homeground
Catch up on the most recent The FaithFeed Conversations session here.