Finding God in the Pandemic

Seeking hope in challenging times

In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, Catholic sisters are present among those on the peripheries of society. They have a deep understanding of the unprecedented challenges faced by the people in their communities. Guided by faith, the religious women supported by our donors are finding creative solutions to provide hope in some of the poorest and most-remote areas across the country.  

In a year filled with so much tragedy, we wanted to know: “Where do you see God in the pandemic?”

Here’s what they had to say.

Sister Kathleen Atkinson- Diocese of Bismarck

Sister Kathleen is the founder and director of Ministry on the Margins, a ministry that helps people transition from incarceration to society in North Dakota.  They provide housing assistance, a food bank, resume writing assistance and other support services. Now during the pandemic, they are not only providing access to essentials but also sourcing free masks and cleaning supplies. They are securing access and transportation to free COVID testing sites. And they have seen their numbers increase and are now serving more newcomers and families.

“God is where he has always been—with people on the margins, with the poor and the humble. With all of us just trying to make sense and make community in this day and in this age.”

Sister Kathleen

Sister Lourdes E. González, MGSpS – Diocese of Stockton

Sister Lourdes was a recent recipient of a Sisters on the Frontlines grant for her to help someone struggling due to the pandemic. Through her ministry, she was familiar with the struggles of 80-year-old Eduviges Silla who lost her job packing fruit. Eduviges began selling tamales to support her family. She cares for her two grown sons, Philip and Leopold, who were both in car accidents that left them unable to work. With the grant, she was able to help this grateful family pay their rent.

Sister Maryud Cortes-Restrepo- Diocese of Kalamazoo

Sister Mayud was one of four Catholic sisters who served in the Diocese of Kalamazoo, Michigan through the U.S.-Latin American Exchange Program. They ministered to Spanish-speaking Catholics in the diocese, which has many immigrant families and usually attracts about 20,000 additional workers during the harvest season.

With financial support from Catholic Extension, she earned her bachelor’s degree in psychology and her master’s degree in applied leadership. She uses her education and spiritual guidance to help empower women facing tough circumstances.

“God is your kindness.”

Sister Maryud

Sister Constanza Fernández Cano Salgado, F.Sp.S.- Mexican American Catholic College

Sister Constanza is another of our Sisters on the Frontlines who has helped those facing hardship in the last year. She serves in the Diocese of San Antonio, where she came to know a woman named Leah’s story. Shortly after the pandemic began, Leah, the mother of four, learned she had cancer. Thankfully, Sister Constanza was able to help the family with financial support through her grant.

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