Check this out, from Denver Catholic:
Our eyes may be used to the men who assist the priest during the liturgy, to the men who proclaim the Gospel from the pulpit, those servants who lift up our petitions as they prepare the gifts during the offertory. However, these men we call deacons are constantly active beyond their parish responsibilities, reaching out, helping, teaching, consoling… And this time of pandemic has only led them to find new ways to serve, to be creative and innovate within their ministries.
“Many of the ministries that deacons do outside the parish require making contact with people, with the persons in the hospital, the prisoner, the single mother, the widow, the homeless… And the coronavirus has prevented us from being able to be face to face and in direct contact with them and see their grief, pain or remorse,” said Deacon Joseph Donohoe, Director of Deacon Personnel for the Archdiocese of Denver. “In order to work around that and keep a distance, we’ve had to use technology. While there’s something meaningful in being face to face, we’ve still been able to reach out to those in need.”
During the pandemic, many deacons across the archdiocese have dedicated themselves to serving the faithful by organizing formation classes, RCIA programs and prayer sessions via Zoom or providing resources at their parish, nursing homes, jails, prisons and detention centers.
One of these many services is the grief ministry that deacons have been carrying out with Mount Olivet as a response to this pandemic. Its purpose is to touch base with the people who have lost a loved one during this difficult time.
“It’s led me to realize how different deaths are handled as a result of the pandemic. Before, when people experienced death or illness, they had the opportunity to be with their families, friends and clergy. [Now,] if they die from COVID, the family doesn’t see their loved one at all. It’s a very different experience,” said Deacon Clarence McDavid from Cure d’Ars Parish, who has been one of six deacons reaching out to people in their grieving process.