Louise de Marillac once wrote Vincent de Paul, “I see such disorder everywhere that I seem to be overwhelmed by it.” (L.10, Spiritual Writings, 335.) While we may not know the full extent of what Louise was going through, can we not relate to what she felt? In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, the DePaul community is facing challenges we have never seen. Moving out of the dorms on short notice, social distancing and isolation, transitioning an entire quarter of in-class instruction to an online format, and working every day from home. All these major disruptions can certainly feel overwhelming.
Yet, in confronting such a feeling herself, Louise then noted, “Nevertheless, I continue to hope.” (Ibid.) The challenges we face are daunting, for some more than others. However, in opposition to that, we’ve seen the DePaul community come together to support each other, and to support those who may be struggling. We’ve seen deadlines extended and timelines modified, we’ve seen university employees receive wages even if their jobs can’t be done remotely, and we’ve seen numerous offices and departments move their face-to-face services online to provide outreach to students and colleagues.
We may be a long way from returning to “normal.” The challenges we face as a university and as a society will only continue to become more difficult in the coming weeks and months. As we endure and attempt to move forward amidst the disorder and disruption of the current crisis, we must be inspired to find hope as Louise once did. That hope may grow from our DePaul community, our family and friends, our God, larger society and the world, or all the above.
How are you currently challenged or overwhelmed by our current reality? Despite this, where do you find hope?
Michael Van Dorpe, Program Manager for Faculty and Staff Engagement, Mission & Ministry