Be a light in lockdown … Tips for staying connected

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Photo: Prateek Gautam/Unsplash
Photo: Prateek Gautam/Unsplash

From Lego projects to recipe sharing, Sydney Catholic Schools’ Family Educators are leading the charge to help families stay connected with their school, parish and neighbourhood communities this lockdown.

“Now, more than ever, while we are physically separated, we need to feel connected,” says Sydney Catholic Schools’ Education Officer: Church Engagement, Mouna Roche.

She said the Family Educators’ ‘Be a light in lockdown’ initiative encourages students, along with their families, to complete a series of activities that aim to create a sense of social connection during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The initiative is based on the gospel verse Mathew 15:6: “Let your light shine.”

The first cohort of Family Educators trained to offer Alpha formation for parents of Catholic school students. PHOTO: Giovanni Portelli

OUR FAMILY EDUCATORS

Family Educators act as liaisons between their appointed Sydney Catholic School and Parish communities, working on and creating invitational events, information sessions and activities that aim to:

  • Connect families with the religious life of the school and the parish
  • Provide further support to families in the development of their child – spiritually, socially and educationally
  • Promote Catholic mission and identity
  • Promote a welcoming, vibrant faith community

Mrs Roche said the pastoral care aspect of the Family Educator’s role was more important now than ever, as people felt the physical, mental and financial effects of isolation.

“We’re so conscious of the fact that so many of our school communities are hurting, either being unwell with COVID-19, struggling financially or with the pressure of working and learning from home,” she said.

“Then there are those families who’ve never had to worry about money and now do because both parents have been stood down from work.

”We need to live the Gospel by being a light to those in our communities that are living through the darkness.”

Have a virtual dinner party, inviting other families to cook the same meal and eat together via Zoom. Photo: Chris Montgomery/Unsplash
Have a virtual dinner party, inviting other families to cook the same meal and eat together via Zoom. Photo: Chris Montgomery/Unsplash

5 WAYS TO BE A LIGHT IN LOCKDOWN

  1. Drop a handwritten note into your neighbours’ letterbox, offering to assist with any errands they need help with. It may be as simple as picking up bread and milk, dropping off scripts at the pharmacy, or weeding their garden
  2. Share your favourite lockdown recipes or have a virtual dinner party, inviting other families to cook the same meal and eat together via Zoom
  3. Hold your own ‘Are You OK During Lockdown’ day. Set aside a day where all families in your social circle are encouraged to call someone and ask, ‘Are you okay’?
  4. Go for a family walk or bike ride to light up your local area. Give thanks for God’s creation and reap the health benefits of being active outdoors
  5. Be a light in your parish and make a card or write a letter to a parishioner who lives alone and may be missing their parish family. Your parish priest may also be able to guide you to parishioners who may need this light during lockdown

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