Church leaders encourage perseverance during unusual Holy Week

BOSTON (WHDH) - It is certainly an unusual Holy Week for Catholics across the Commonwealth due to the global public health crisis.

But, with many churches offering cyber services, local priests say now is the perfect time to reflect and connect with one’s faith.

“I have a lot of confidence in Bostonians having lived here now for seven years and learning about, their toughness and how strong they are I have a lot of confidence we’ll be in a good place when this ends,” Father Tom Conway said.

Conway serves as the executive director of Boston’s St. Anthony Shrine and is encouraging everyone to persevere during this Easter holiday.

Located in the middle of Downtown Boston, St. Anthony’s Shrine is known for its open-door policy.

Now, those doors must stay closed indefinitely in an effort to protect parishioners and slow the spread of coronavirus.

So, instead of receiving sacraments face-to-face, community members are turning to their screens to celebrate mass.

For decades, the shrine has served the sick and the poor and this pandemic is not getting in the way of that work — the church’s director of outreach has been busy.

“She will meet somebody, stand at a distance take a photo of something maybe a wound on the leg or something like that send it to a medical practitioner, and relay advice to this homeless person,’ Conway explained.

He said despite this troubling and uncertain time, he is seeing hope for some of the city’s homeless population.

“What’s happened now is, there’s no one to ask for money on the street anymore. that money is going away and what we’re finding is the people are suddenly more open to rehabilitation,” he said.

According to Father Conway, this pause in life is the perfect time to embark on a spiritual journey.

“This whole thing, I think of slowing down and going into seclusion and really thinking about who you are and who you are with your god,” he said. “I think it’s an opportunity. Every crisis is also an opportunity and I think that’s the way to look at this.”

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