11th Annual Lenten outreach in Carapichaima
April 2, 2020
Being Church in a time of COVID-19
April 2, 2020

Preysal prayer group ‘zooms’ in

COVID-19 is ravaging the world and the call is to stay at home and socially distance yourself. As no one knows when this self-ostracism will be lifted, the impact on our spiritual life could be catastrophic.

Prayer meetings, faith formation, sacramental availability and fellowship itself have been curtailed and in some cases stopped altogether. Our degree of faith has even been brought into question.

Considering this the Preysal Prayer Group was able to host the entire prayer meeting online using the app called Zoom. This was revolutionary for us, for after 18 years we met under one roof, even if at different locations.

The most basic package is free, can allow up to 100 devices to interact and offers clear feed and audio. The only drawback was after 40 minutes it must be rebooted which takes only a couple of seconds. However, the options to interact via audio, texting or symbol notifications make Zoom more attractive than other platforms.

The Zoom prayer meeting was fantastic. We were together again. There really is something magical when two or three are gathered in His name. Just seeing our brothers and sisters in Christ created an overflowing joy.

There were 52 devices logged on and quite a few households had four or more glued to their screens. The men were next to their wives and quite involved in the meeting. One of our members testified that she always wanted the prayer meeting in her home. Another member hospitalised in Wales testified and updated us on her situation.

It was a breath of hope and the spiritual sharing by Fr Ian Taylor, the Spiritual Director of the Preysal Prayer Group helped build the faith. He spoke about the diabolical nature of the COVID-19 and the Holy Spirit response required by the faithful.  Faith comes from hearing and we intend to use this platform to hold onto our members until we can meet face to face.

The Four Signs of the Dynamic Catholic by Matthew Kelly describes the need for Catholics to be continuous learners to nurture their faith formation. Technology can be intimidating to many. Let us rise to the occasion, find every opportunity to be problem solvers and change agents. Our faith is depending on us.

—Gregory Quan Kep, Preysal Prayer Group