While social distancing has brought many inconveniences, families around the Diocese of Allentown are finding creative ways to grow closer and keep the faith alive in their homes. The Laskowski family, parishioners at St. Ignatius of Loyola, Reading, is embracing what it means for their household to be a domestic church.
“Our routine of prayer and acts of faith are more critical than they have ever been,” said Elisabeth, mother to the family. “Daily acts of faith and trust have become necessary to combat the fears that creep up after reading the news or letting my mind wander with uncertainty.”
The Laskowskis have spent time at home listening to Catholic radio, praying Stations of the Cross each Friday, and praying along with Mass online.
“Parenting during Mass is difficult,” said Elisabeth. “Parenting during Mass at home is exceptionally difficult.”
Even though it presents new challenges, the Laskowskis have found ways to help their family be fully present at Mass. Their 10-year-old son has a bell to ring at the appropriate moments, and one of their daughters chooses opening and closing hymns.
“We say the rosary every day and do daily Masses, and we get dressed up for Mass,” said Hannah, 12.
The Laskowskis have also taken advantage of the extra time together as a family. “I am helping my family and we do our dinner dishes together every night,” added Blaise, 10.
“We have also added ‘one good thing’ as a dinner time routine, to encourage us all to find at least one good thing that happened that day,” said Elisabeth.
What have the unusual circumstances created by social distancing done for the Laskowskis as a family? They have spent time reflecting on ways to grow in love and charity toward one another.
“It causes us to grow in patience and tolerance of other people’s faults and of my own faults,” said Paul, Elisabeth’s husband. “It causes me to trust in the providence of God’s will.”
“It is certainly helping us grow our domestic church in ways we have never done before,” said Elisabeth. “I would encourage practice in the art of humility and asking forgiveness. Asking forgiveness for our short tempers and failings is critical to quarantined life together.”
As for how other families can use this time to their advantage, Blaise offered sound advice: “Pray together every day,” he said.
Catholic at Home is a series featuring families from around the Diocese of Allentown navigating faith and unity during the time of social distancing. How are you and your family living Catholic at home? Email firstname.lastname@example.org with your story.