NORTH DARTMOUTH, Mass. — It’s a pop/rock song that was released by The Turtles more than 30 years before they were born. The simple, upbeat song is “Happy Together,” and a group of 16 Bishop Stang High School students formed the “virtual chorus” and sent out a message of hope and happiness to anyone who will watch, with an outstanding a cappella version of the tune, each from their own homes with their laptops via the video platform Vimeo. It can be viewed below.
It may not seem like much, but during these anxious times, it’s a breath of fresh air and a sign that the youth of today care about their fellow man more than many people give them credit for.
Parochial schools across the diocese are staying in contact with the young minds they are helping shape through a number of online classes and resources.
Also feeling the effects of the recent shutdowns are the students at nearby UMass Dartmouth. Campus ministers Father David Frederici and Deacon Frank Lucca may not be able to meet and greet the students with Liturgies, prayer meetings and spaghetti suppers for what may be months, but that hasn’t stopped them from keeping the students’ minds focused on Christ, the Church, and their peers.
“We have many different opportunities for keeping the faith in times of COVID-19” Deacon Lucca told The Anchor.
The UMD campus ministry team is offering students the opportunity to regularly share in the Mass with streamed online Liturgies. Livestream Masses are offered on the campus ministry website, umassdcatholics.com, each day at 8 a.m. and on tape on the website of St. Mary’s Parish in South Dartmouth at stmarysdartmouth.org.
The St. Mary’s Parish website also offers livestream Eucharistic Adoration daily from 6-7 p.m On the campus ministry website, Father Frederici and Deacon Lucca tell students, “In light of UMass D’s decision to suspend all in-person classes and other events, we wanted to provide some additional Spiritual resources to aid us at this time. Know that Father David and I are available for online conversation/Spiritual direction should you wish to take advantage of that. Contact us via email at Father.David@umassd.edu or firstname.lastname@example.org. Take care of yourself and each other.”
Deacon Lucca also told The Anchor that the campus ministry website is filled with opportunities for students to stay connected with each other, the ministers and with Christ. When visiting the site students can make the menu choice “Keeping the Faith,” and they will be connected to pathways for online Masses, a “Busy Student’s Retreat,” and a healthy selection of online Spiritual resources. There is also an option for students who feel the need to speak to someone, called “Need to talk? Virtual drop-in,” which will connect the user to Father Frederici or Deacon Lucca via email.
The UMD campus ministry team is also contacting students directly to “check in on them,” during these trying times. And perhaps one of the most important resources provided, not only to students, but to all Catholic faithful during this pandemic is a daily prayer of intercession to Our Lady of Guadalupe, Mother of the Americas:
Holy Virgin of Guadalupe,
Queen of the Angels
and Mother of the Americas.
We fly to you today as
your beloved children.
We ask you to intercede
for us with your Son,
As you did at the wedding
Pray for us, loving Mother,
And gain for our nation and world,
And for all our families and loved ones,
The protection of your holy angels,
That we may be spared the worst of this illness.
For those already afflicted,
We ask you to obtain the grace
of healing and deliverance.
Hear the cries of those who are
vulnerable and fearful,
Wipe away their tears
and help them to trust.
In this time of trial and testing,
teach all of us in the Church to love one another
and to be patient and kind.
Help us to bring the
peace of Jesus to our land
and to our hearts.
We come to you with
Knowing that you
truly are our compassionate mother,
Health of the sick and
cause of our joy.
Shelter us under the
mantle of your protection,
Keep us in the embrace
of your arms,
Help us always to know
the love of your Son, Jesus.