Faith in isolation

How students are staying in touch with faith while social distancing

Priest+broadcasts+mass+through+cell+phone.+For+many+religious+people.+these+virtual+gatherings+have+been+a+source+of+comfort+and+normalcy.

Photo by and used with permission of offutt.af.mil

Priest broadcasts mass through cell phone. For many religious people. these virtual gatherings have been a source of comfort and normalcy.

Olivia Donnelly, Staff Writer

While social distancing guidelines may be prohibiting gathering in places of worship, people of faith have found ways to adapt.   

Some students, like Annabelle Pinto, Catholic sophomore, have adopted different live streaming networks, from YouTube to Zoom.

“I have watched masses with my family at home from YouTube so we can stay connected. Easter was very different from last year due to my family not seeing my grandparents, aunts and uncles, or my cousins,” Pinto said. “My family adapted by Zooming my grandparents on Easter afternoon to wish each other a happy Easter, and it also gave us a chance to see each other again.”

Similar to Pinto, other students who celebrate Easter have experienced the holiday differently from previous years. 

According to another Catholic student, Olivia Ryt, sophomore, her family plans had to change.

My faith has grown stronger during this time, because when I feel like I have no one to talk to, I always have God by my side when I need him.”

— Olivia Ryt, sophomore

“This year’s Easter was very different from previous years, since we didn’t go to my aunt’s house where we usually celebrate Easter, and we also didn’t go to church. Instead, we had church at home,” Ryt said. “We still had a relaxing Easter, by having played board games and watching a movie with the whole family.”

Other students like Josh Chick, Jewish sophomore, have found different ways to come closer to faith. 

“I have stayed in touch with my faith by trying to observe the holidays a bit more. I haven’t done any prayers or rituals that are normal to holidays or services, but I’ve been eating less bread during Passover which I normally don’t try not eating bread,” Chick said. 

With increased social distancing regulations, Chick has said he’s having a new experience with Passover this year. 

“Celebrating Passover is different this year because normally me and my extended family get together to celebrate and do the prayer booklet, and this year we didn’t get to do that. My dad’s side had small meetups but my mom’s side did not,” Chick said. 

While the norms have changed for many religions, some are finding their faith to be strengthened during this time of uncertainty. 

For Ryt, she said she feels her “faith has grown stronger during this time, because when I feel like I have no one to talk to, I always have God by my side when I need him.”