2020-04-16 GENERAL HOUSE

What are we learning from the COVID-19 crisis?

COVID-19 is a global challenge that mainly affects the most vulnerable. The Marist Institute, a global charismatic family that works to accompany thousands of children and young people in their educational journey, is actively involved with educators and students at this very special time.

We ask the superiors of the Marist Administrative Units to share with the Marist world what they are learning from this extraordinary situation. Here are some reflections. Others will come.

In that link you can read about the situations in the Administrative Unities as well look for some resources.

H. HipĂłlito PĂ©rez – Central America

Everything that is happening is too fast and it is too early to draw any conclusions. The truth is that in a very short time the lives of millions of people have suddenly changed. Personally, my life has also changed. It has been a time to become aware of the fragility of humanity and of the planet; to discover the pain and the impotence in the face of so much death, suffering and desolation; to deeply appreciate the goodness of the human heart and the generous solidarity in the giving of doctors, nurses, police, army… and of thousands of anonymous people who have quietly contributed their all in silence. All together we are stronger and solidarity overcomes evil and pain.

After all this has passed and the impact has diminished, we will have time to integrate the experience in a more deliberate way and that can generate, at all levels, a new way of seeing, feeling and acting in the world, a new individual and collective consciousness.

H. Moisés Alonso Pérez -Ibérica

To me personally the main lessons taken from this situation are:

– The great FRAGILITY in which we live; we go from a state of general calm to a situation of collective depression and general fear, in a very short time. We are very fragile and there is nothing left for us but to abandon ourselves into God’s hands.

– A second very obvious lesson is the practical meaning of the concept of GLOBALIZATION. How a problem located at one point on the planet becomes a threat to all of humanity. This is the world we have built and in which we will have to learn to live. Today, it is clear that we have no idea. We did not know how to anticipate the consequences that were coming, because they were already happening in other countries.

– A third lesson: there are MANY FANTASTIC PEOPLE, capable of forgetting about their own health and their own safety, risking everything to help other people. The behaviour of the health personnel is worthy of a “gold medal” (give them, doctors and nurses, all the medals that have been prepared for the Tokyo Olympics).

– It is not worth wasting a minute listening to the POLITICIANS when it is clear that the only thing that interests them is preserving their reputation (to save their job) and to do so they conceal data, they lie, they look for excuses and justifications for their mismanagement… And this has been seen in several countries… Very few have been able to rise to the occasion.

– Our Elders are unprotected. It has been unfortunate that in several countries it has been made public that hospitals differentiate according to age and ask that the elderly not even be taken to hospital. It has been very hard to see that, being the most vulnerable group, they have been relegated to the margins of care.

– I think there will be many more lessons to be learned from this event, and we will have to analyse it at the end of the day. And surely there will be a before and after of the Covid-19

H. CĂ©sar Rojas – Norandina

This is a situation that has exceeded our expectations and all forecasts. As Marists and as humanity we recognize ourselves as weak and in need of God’s presence and Mary’s protection. It is a time to renew our confidence in them, as Saint Marcellin did.

We have invited the whole Province to pray the Memorare daily, a prayer that reminds us of the scene of Champagnat lost in the snow with Brother Stanislaus, and who miraculously through his intercession is saved from dying in the storm. As Marists we need the protection of Jesus and Mary at this time.

It is also a lesson for us to be builders of a new and different society, of a just, fraternal and supportive world. From this world tragedy, may a new humanity emerge, full of hope, truly in solidarity, capable of establishing means for us to walk together.


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