Friends of Saint Eugene, Towerhill renew their commitment virtually Read Eileen and Alexa’s experiences
Every year, the Friends of Saint Eugene groups would, in “normal” times, renew their commitment to the work and charism of Saint Eugene on or around the Oblate Feast Day of February 17th, marking the anniversary of the formal approval of the Rules and Constitution of the Oblate Community by the Pope at that time in the year 1826. For one of the Friends of Saint Eugene groups, in English Martyrs parish, Towerhill, the group members decided that even though they could not physically meet up to renew their commitments, that they would “meet” virtually, on Zoom, as they had been doing throughout the lockdown times, and renew their commitment.
Below are a few short paragraphs from two of the members of the Towerhill group, Eileen and Alexa, on this unusual and inspiring occasion, and on how they have, as a group, maintained connections and reached out to others using a variety of creative ways!
“Being a Friend of St Eugene has been a tremendous blessing in my Christian journey for a number of years. When pandemic started it took a few months for us to reconnect via Zoom for our monthly meetings but the discussion kept going in terms of finding ideas how to serve the group and the community. From volunteering at Oblate Prayer reflections, writing Christmas cards to prisoners, facilitating virtual Christmas carols and attending online retreats – it helped my faith to grow more particularly at a time where uncertainty and fear surrounded us.
My renewal as a Friend of St Eugene again this year was a very important milestone. It solidified more so my commitment to deepen my connection with the group and to continue to serve God through this wonderful community. With the group’s strong and clear will, it was a no-brainer for us to make that commitment. In person or virtually.”
– Alexa Davies, Friend of Saint Eugene, Towerhill
“Throughout the many lockdowns we’ve faced within the last year, I’ve faced many mental and physical challenges. It suddenly felt essential to ‘touch’ others and validate my life in a virtual way.
The call of St Eugene, to act in friendship, to be of service to the community and to pray, took on a new level of keen-ness. But as a member of a Friends of St Eugene group, this manifested itself in a different way. As we could no longer catch up at mass or on the street, we reached out initially to each other then to the lonely and isolated through video chats and telephone conversations. Through arranging support and encouraging daily check-ins, we in our own small way, established listening bubbles. Our Friends of St Eugene group continued to meet monthly online via zoom and we have an active Whatsapp group. In those early days we simply shared positive photos of the natural world outside and regularly touched base with each others health and mental well being. From those early seeds of hope and support, we have managed to deepen our living faith and nurtured our relationships. We have renewed our commitment to St Eugene’s values and look forward to seeing them continue to flourish in the months ahead.”
– Eileen McLaughlin, Friend of Saint Eugene, Towerhill
If you would like more information about the Friends of Saint Eugene, please fill out the form below, or get in touch with Partners in Mission at 14 Quex Road, Kilburn, London
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