LAI’s Echoes in these pandemic times

In this time of tribulation, how do our members around the world live?


Our newsletter today echoes the testimonials that have reached us from Europe to Canada, from South America to Africa and Mauritius.

All those responsible of the movements report the difficulties and pain felt by many who live in isolation for lack of connection and sharing: no more group meetings, pilgrimages, recollections or retreats for many months. The leader of the Romanian movement speaks of its members forced to isolate themselves, who feel silence and fear and ask so many questions about the future, what will be the future? Mauritius, for its part, evokes exclusion and the painful feeling of being sidelined. The responsible thus reports with difficulty that only the assistance to the patients at the end of life is offered to them by the diocese. The coordinator for Latin America (herself from Argentina) has little news of members from other countries because it is still the holiday period in the southern hemisphere but again the big joint meetings synonymous with joy and sharing have been cancelled. Canada with Marielle its leader, unlike Madrid, which was falling under the snow some time ago, enjoys relatively mild temperatures but is concerned about all the elderly who have disappeared because of the virus. Victoria of Romania also deplores the disappearance of many priests and even her bishop, who have been swept away by the disease.

The echoes brought of course seem quite dark but we have, on the other hand, to salute the treasures of initiatives and chains of solidarity deployed by the leaders of the countries to keep in touch with their members, to go one way or another to meet those who suffer from isolation, to listen to their grief, to take care of them by taking their news by frequent phone calls or by developing teams meetings by audio or via the internet when it is possible as is reported to us. The new technological means allow many, often with the help of children or grandchildren, to participate in liturgies, to meditate on the apostolic letters of Pope Francis, such as "Fratelli tutti", St Joseph and more recently on grandparents, adapting them to the Mauritian "sauce", as Marie-Noëlle, head of the movement in Mauritius, tells us with humour.

For example, a diocesan MCR chaplain from my Normandy region suggested that members of the movement browse this year's booklet alone,"Health... at our age, what a challenge! "to pray with all the members of the group in mind, to think about a few questions sent by email and to give answers by saying "answer to all" which can be a way to no longer be alone...

The monthly LAI newsletter to which many of our members contribute is hailed by all as a valuable link, a means of communication between movements and even a source of inspiration.

An article from France in testimony to these situations is also proposed.

Monika Ptak