As members of Mercer University’s Catholic Campus Ministry logged onto Zoom to start their praying of a rosary and divine mercy chaplet online, they took a minute to note their different surroundings.
It was only their second online prayer meeting since the COVID-19 pandemic stopped all in-person classes at Mercer. But CCM members were making the most out of the situation.
The mood was a mixture of somber, hopeful, prayerful, contemplative and determined to remain optimistic in the face of unprecedented times.
“We can’t walk up to each other and sit down in the same room right now, but we can still pray the rosary together and see each other,” CCM President Michael Cosby said.
The meeting went on as the four participants alternated being the prayer leader as the group prayed for an end to the coronavirus pandemic as well as the health and safety of the whole world.
“I think it’s different having all this stuff online, but at least we still get to video chat and contact everyone,” said Karrie Spain, a CCM officer. “It’s better than nothing.”
In an earlier interview, CCM Vice President Mary-Angel Ekezie said the plan for the organization was to engage its members through social platforms. She said this is a good time for members to strengthen their faith.
“Practicing your faith can be done in little things like helping a younger sibling with an assignment, calling a family member just to see how they are doing, and even sending an email to thank professors for working so hard to help us during our transition to online classes,” Ekezie said.
The leaders of the organization are well aware of the obstacles that may arise in navigating the group through tumultuous times such as these. Ekezie said maintaining hope is critical.
“The biggest problem or challenge for the religious, and also non-religious, during these times is maintaining hope. It can seem like all of this will never end, but if we practice the right safety measures and continue to pray, this, like any season, will eventually pass,” Ekezie said.
Cosby said one of the best options for members as well as others feeling the impact of the pandemic is prayer.
“I think a lot of people have more time on their hands now, and they’re able to have some quiet time, and I think (we need to try) to advocate to use this time to grow in prayer,” Cosby said.
Photo courtesy of Catholic Campus Ministry: Members of Mercer’s Catholic Campus Ministry enjoy each other’s company as they play a card game at their first meeting of the year in August 2019.