As social distancing stretches on, home-centered routines are becoming less of a phase and more of a “new normal” for many families. The Verchicks, parishioners at St. Patrick, Pottsville, have used this time as an opportunity to embrace sacrifice.
“As a family, we are learning about sacrificial love, most perfectly seen in the cross that Jesus Christ bore,” said Dale, mother to the family of four. “We are learning to give one another time to themselves and to listen patiently.”
Dale, her husband Greg, and their son Andrew, 12, have taken turns watching one-year-old Lucy to allow each other to complete schoolwork, attend virtual meetings, and make important phone calls without interruption.
“Little acts of love go a long way and help us reflect Christ to each other,” said Dale.
Unable to receive the sacraments, the Verchicks have turned to sacramentals to bring holiness into their home. “We bless our doorways with Holy Water and Blessed Salt. The kids love sprinkling the water and salt and it makes them feel part of this wonderful ritual.”
Bedtime prayers have also provided a sense of comfort as the world wrestles with instability.
“Night prayer for us as a family is a must and brings so much calm and peace before we end the day,” said Dale. “We name our family members and friends and pray especially for people we know who are afflicted by the virus.”
While prayer has been central to the family’s routine, they are also enjoying a variety of other activities. “We are doing so many things together now that we would not have otherwise,” said Dale. “We have been working out together as a family to keep healthy because of the baking we are doing together as a family.”
For families struggling to find ways to fill their hours at home, the Verchicks offer reassurance. “Every day is a learning experience in our time together,” said Dale. “Let us ask ourselves which choices help us to do the best job at being examples of self-giving and being open to the call to intimacy that is at the heart of the Catholic vision of love.”
Catholic at Home is a series featuring families from around the Diocese of Allentown navigating faith and unity during the time of social distancing. If your family would like to be featured in the series, contact Alexa Smith at firstname.lastname@example.org.