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Pandemic impact: Five things Catholics can do to make a difference

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From supporting your parish to schooling your children, here's how you can make a difference.

As the coronavirus pandemic spreads and communities take unprecedented measures, many Catholics are left wondering how they can help. Here are five things you can do to to help during these difficult times. 

The public spaces at the Vatican is abandoned. Mass is canceled around the world. Now is the time for us to pray and act.

The public spaces at the Vatican is abandoned. Mass is canceled around the world. Now is the time for us to pray and act.

LOS ANGELES, CA (California Network) - Here are five things Catholics can do to help alleviate suffering and pass the time during this unprecedented period in history. 

1. Remember your parish and your parish priests and deacons. - The first thing you can do is pray for those who serve in your parish community. Even though the churches may be closed (some are, others are not) the demand for services will only increase. If possible, volunteer, even if it's just to clean the parish and keep things safe and sanitized for others. If you can, consider giving during this time. Eucharistic ministers may be distributing communion in those areas where Masses are suspended. You can help by offering rides, or donating funds. 

Keep in mind, your parish clergy will be on the front lines of this pandemic, ministering to the sick at great risk to themselves. They may also have more funerals to attend as some people lose the fight against this rapidly spreading disease. 

2. Make sure your family, friends, and neighbors have enough. - If you have something and your neighbor does not, offer to trade or simply give of your abundance. There is no better way to demonstrate love than to share what we have with others. 

3. Offer your talents. - Chances are, some of you are temporarily relieved from duties during this time. But your talents remain. If you have a skill you can share with others, consider doing so. If you can prepare and serve food, consider teaming up with others or your parish community to do so. If you can shop for those who cannot go out, do so. Offer to pick up prescriptions and to do things for those who cannot do for themselves. Just remember to take precautions, maintain social distance, and to give freely. 

4. If you are still working, do so without complaint. Now is the time to unite and work together, not stand divided. - In many places, political, cultural and religious divides are normal. But nature does not care about our personal beliefs or affiliations. Nature is indifferent. This is a time to do our duty, without complaint. If you are healthy and asked to work, do so without complaint. Set aside political differences and arguments. The same for religious and all other differences.

Let people know you love them. No strings attached! Just be kind, generous, and loving. Love your neighbor like yourself, even if they are a stranger. No arguments, just love. 

5. Turn to resources to keep yourself going. - Pray! Read your Bible. Visit and bookmark Catholic.org and sign up for Catholic Online School

These websites sites are free and provide news and information to serve you. Catholic Online School has hundreds of courses that can deepen and enrich your Catholic faith. For example, if you cannot get to Church, Catholic Online School publishes the Daily Readings with Questions for Reflection. If you are a catechumen and want to learn about your faith, but your classes are cancelled, a course like Confirmation with Certificate of Completion can provide the instruction you crave. 

As always, remember to wash your hands, maintain social distance, avoid unnecessary going out and gatherings, and do all you can to protect yourself, your family, and to serve your parish and neighbors during this time. 

Let us pray for a swift end to this pandemic. 

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