MILWAUKEE — Milwaukee’s Catholic Archbishop Jerome Listecki is sharing a message of hope amid the coronavirus pandemic that has shuttered churches across the state.
The “Safer at Home” order is keeping people of all faiths in Wisconsin from physically attending religious services. It’s particularly trying for Christians during the holy season of Lent.
“The Eucharist is so central for us,” Listecki said in an interview. “There’s a real hunger out there.”
Though the archbishop regrets he and other clergy cannot meet in person with area Catholics, they are spreading a hopeful message.
“Maybe there’s a good thing the Lord is directing us to, that what we’re learning during this time is what we’ve taken for granted," said Listecki.
Among those things, Listecki cites are prayer, and yes… actually going to church!
“There is a sense that this could be a moment for the deepening of faith,” he continued.
Beyond that, he hopes everyone may discover a better appreciation for all the things we have and enjoy, “This calls to mind how we’ve taken for granted the availability of so many things.”
As for going back to church, Listecki is hopeful the faithful may return to mass soon, but he is also cautious.
“I know there will be a time that the governor and the president will, if you want, [offer] at least a sign of gradually going back. We will take advantage of that, but we'll do so in an environment that we can create for the safety of our individuals," said Listecki.