Franciscan Sister’s On-Line Spiritual Direction Meets Needs

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May 11, 2020

Franciscan Sister Jacqueline Spaniola shares the variety of ways her ministry was transformed to meet needs at the current time serving at St. Albert the Great Campus Ministry, Houghton, Michigan and St. Anne, Chasssel, Michigan.

As we all know the situation with Coronavirus abruptly changed our daily routine. Suddenly our St. Al’s Campus Ministry’s Mission Trip to Fr. Carr’s Place2B was shortened when Wednesday night, March 11th we were informed that Michigan Technological University would not have classes face to face on Monday. Decisions had to be made in every area of campus ministry and parish life.

Everyone scrambled to learn video chat programs online to stay in touch with parishioners and to continue ministries. What would we do with the Marriage Preparations? Some couples were in the middle of the program, and were planning May and June weddings. After discussion the issue with Fr. Ben Hasse, I was online learning about ZOOM chatrooms.

I have been doing ZOOM with four couples so far and will be starting with a few more who have just been engaged. Mat and Kiaya pictured in the ZOOM chat mentioned that it really went well. They thought it would be strange but it did go smoothly.

Not only has marriage preparation gone to ZOOM, we also have the Adult Education (17 people are in the Wednesday classes), RCIA sessions, Spiritual Direction, and Friday Night FireSide. Last Friday we had Seniors’ sharing their graces and memories of St. Al’s on campus. There were fourteen testimonies heard by over 50 participants. Socializing and building community has always been important, we just have to be creative in this “stay at home” situation.

Note: If you are a young adult desiring a retreat at this time, read about a Stay at Home Silent Holy Spirit Retreat.

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