The AP this week posted a heart-rending story about a young priest in my diocese coping with the death of his mentor — and then his father — to COVID-19: 

The Rev. Joseph Dutan recalls how he lifted the chalice in the empty church and felt a flood of emotions: grief, the pain of isolation, even doubt.

But also, the promise of hope that is the gift of every Easter — even in the midst of a pandemic that had already robbed him and his community of so much, and threatened to take so much more.

He prayed for the soul of the Rev. Jorge Ortiz, his mentor and the first Catholic priest in the United States to die from the novel coronavirus. He prayed that he could console a community that could not gather to mourn Ortiz’ passing.

And he offered a more personal prayer: for his own father, struggling with COVID-19.

“God,” he prayed, “I’ll follow my vocation, but please take care of my dad.”

You’ll want to read the whole thing. And watch the video below.