In this together

August 1, 2020 - 12:00am -- Living City

In this together
How a suffering gathered a community

Since mid-March, we have been living a deep experience in our faith journey as a community. While coping with Covid-19, we learned that a member of our community, Sue, was diagnosed with late-stage cancer. She is a young mother of five children, a schoolteacher and vice principal.

When Sue shared her diagnosis with us, she said she was at peace and wanted to offer her suffering for those impacted by the pandemic.

Instead of offering prayers individually, one of us felt compelled to ask if we could meet online to pray the rosary together for Sue.

Ever since then, we have been gathering every Sunday at 4pm to pray on Zoom. We start by saying a prayer for her health through the intercession of Chiara Lubich, Servant of God. We then take turns leading each decade of the rosary, with Sue and her family leading the last decade.

When we finish the prayer, Sue gives us an update on her health or anything she has in her heart; we then have a brief sharing among us.

We started this as a small group, comprised mostly of young families in our local community. Now we have members and friends of the Focolare joining us from all over the world. We have reconnected with many we had not seen for a long time, and some of the families of Sue’s students join us as well.

In one of these gatherings, we learned that Sue would appreciate concrete help with cooking. Since then, the community has been preparing dinners for the family every day, despite the serious challenges we face amid the city’s lockdown. Those who live far away or cannot cook contribute by offering recipes and funds to share the expenses.

Sue told us that she and her family appreciate the meals very much, and that her children are especially excited because they have an opportunity to taste different cuisines and cooking every day.

These weekly prayers and concrete acts of love have actually brought us closer together as a community. It helps us not to focus on ourselves and our own difficulties, but to reach out to others who are in need.

- Christine Tsui, Toronto

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