Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

So as you may have heard, I’ve just gone through a bout of Covid-19. While I’m grateful to be feeling better and for all the prayers and support that the parish community has offered me, it was not a fun experience. Throughout my illness, I pretty much checked all the boxes for symptoms: a sore throat, congestion, a cough, aches, chills, and even some intestinal distress, so I’m quite happy to have such
things behind me. I’m also immensely grateful that it was not any worse than it was, something I credit towards the fact that I was previously vaccinated.

One thing that I do wish I had been more proactive with and I hope that others will heed my example and advice, is to go ahead and receive the booster shot. The timing ended up working against me, especially with the busyness of the holidays; I had intended to get the booster but could not find a convenient time. I wish now that I had just bit the bullet and gotten the booster. Even if I had a poor reaction to it, like I did after my second dose, it still would have been better than the ten days or so being actually sick. Please, if you’re not yet boosted and are eligible, make the time to do it.

Being sick is a great reminder of what it’s like to feel useless. Usefulness is something deeply engrained in the American ethos. What do I mean by that? I believe that our society and many of us equate being good in life with being useful to ourselves and others. The more and better I can do something, the greater I am. But being in isolation and feeling sick, there was nothing to be done, little to nothing that I could actually do. And it was quite frustrating and made me feel rather incomplete.

And yet, from a Christian perspective, one’s worth and dignity has nothing to do with activity or usefulness but rather simply in being created and loved by God. When circumstances force us to slow down, such as being sick or getting older or whatever it might be, may it serve as reminder that we shouldn’t focus on being useful, but on being loved and loving God and others. I acknowledge and deeply appreciate the love and kindness shown to me as I’ve dealt with Covid and please know of my love that I hold for each one of you. May God continue to bless us and if possible, keep us safe from all harm.

Peace and Goodness,
Fr. Dan