Sacred Heart of Jesus Church - Serving the Communities of South Bend and Lakeville, Indiana
A Week in Isolation: Now that it has passed and I have a sense of what I was dealing with and what it might look like, I am happy to share with people some details.

On Wednesday - Friday of the second week of August, I was involved in a friend and parishioner’s dad’s funeral. While the family member was understandably in grief and feeling bad enough that week he also learned later that what he thought was just a bad cold turned out to be Covid. The long and short of it is that I got it too though I am fairly convinced that my catching it was due to being in a car with him (and wife) for over an hour-and-a-half, riding to and from the destination. Who knows for sure when it comes to this virus? I went all last year, going everywhere I wanted, doing what I needed to do ministerially, and living with a seminarian who invited other sem’s in often, and never got it! It’s a fickle virus.

Since I had the vaccine (last January), I was fortunate to have a very mild case and was only feeling really crummy about 2+ days. But once tested (doctor’s) and determined to have Covid, I had to remain away from others (do the right thing, morally). I also followed through on (recommended by doctor) the BAM IV at the end of the week, though I was feeling much better already by Tuesday of that week. I’m told it is recommended to people over 65 and the earlier-on in symptoms you can get it, the better in helping relieve symptoms almost magically. Several FW friends who went through it confirmed that experience too.

I encourage people to get the shot, as I have all along. The friend did not benefit from having done so and was sick for well over 14 days, miserable most all of that time. Antibodies DO help!  The BAM IV even strengthens to where I am now told I will not need a booster for at least 3 months, and then I will likely have a blood test done to see where my antibody level is at that point before doing the booster. I may be safe longer due to having had it. Another unknown.

Would a mask have helped? I doubt it, though I do (as previously stated regarding the grade school) believe it is better to err on the side of caution, especially where our children are concerned. Riding in an enclosed car for 45 minutes each way, was no doubt the clincher on my getting the virus.

Unless a properly-fitted N95 mask is worn ~ wearing the mask incorrectly may be likened to an x-ray tech wearing grandma’s kitchen apron to protect against the rays. But that’s just my two-cents on that matter.
To have gone all last year, exposed to so many as I was from weddings, funerals, and so much more, and not get it tells me that it just takes the right moment and the perfect storm of details. But then, many get it who have been hiding under their beds and leaving their groceries sit in the garage all night to “kill the germs” too! It is a fickle virus, or so it seems, and likely one here to stay, as many are saying.

As with colds, normal flu, and other bugs that are out there, using good precautions certainly help, but are not a guarantee. How perfectly safe can one be all the time, after all! Wash hands, keep hands away from face, eyes, etc., all good and helpful, but no guarantee.

Thanks for the prayers of those who knew I was under the weather, even if not aware it was Covid, and thanks too for the cheery gifts that came from some as well. It all helps make the “Covid-Jail” a little less confining. Glad to be out and about again and much more protected from a perfect storm for now.

Lectors: With concerns over Covid and therefore many not being in church, the number of Lectors Carol has to choose from (St. Jude) seems to be smaller than in the past. If you are normally on the schedule and are once again at Mass and willing to help, please let her know.
Younger and New: it would be great to have some of our high school students (especially some of you who were such good readers when in grade school at Masses) to have you consider offering your time and talent as a Lector too. How wonderful it would be to see young faces (with their parents) attending Sunday Mass and visible in such a powerful way. By your own example and witness, you would effectively bring other young people in as well. The Parish (Tricia Sloma or Sue Fassett) will help train you as a Lector, so you will be most comfortable in the role.

Youth Group:  Fr. Greg and I have talked at some length about seeing how many students might be interested in once again coming together in a Youth Group setting.  The day, the time, always a challenge, since so many are in sports and other extra-curricular activities.  If you would have an interest (or parents, in asking your children to consider a Youth Group), please speak to Fr. Greg or me at any time or let your teacher (in our school) know, or Mr. or Mrs. Dlugosz (if you are at Marian) so word can get back to us and we will follow through. We know Sunday afternoons and evenings can be precious time with family or just preparing for next day school, but maybe a Monday evening, following the 5:30 Mass at St. Jude??  Begin to think about teens, parents, and younger students who may want to begin now building the special relationships that can come through Youth Ministry.

INSTANT ONLINE CHURCH DIRECTORY:  Many pics in the directory are missing which only makes it that much more difficult for staff to know you.  Please help the school, if a school family, by submitting a current pic and let our parish secretary know to get you into the directory if you are not, though I think there are directions on how you can do that yourself too.

 If you’ve had a death in your family or any other change in who you feel should be pictured, please submit a new pic or stop me at church and I can take a pic of you here and add it (The same can be done at Sacred Heart to add an update; just let Father know).
It is such a useful parish family tool to know people better, if only. . . . It’s what it means to be part of a family, to be identified as part of them. ~Fr. John