Rekindling Faith Amidst the Pandemic: the DLSU Libraries Conducts Faith Formation

No pandemic can stop the DLSU Libraries from providing its staff some spiritual nourishment. Last 23 February 2021, the Staff Development Committee organized a faith formation activity entitled, An Especially Close Encounter with the Lord: a Recollection held via Zoom with the theme, “Rekindling our faith in the midst of the pandemic.” 

The recollection's theme was very apt and timely as it aimed to address the library personnel’s battle against the worries and anxieties brought about by COVID-19. It also tackled the appropriate strategies and techniques to attain peace of mind and balance in the workplace, family and personal life. The organizers invited Rev. Fr. Francis Xavier Salcedo, a former University Chaplain of DLSU, as the resource speaker. A liturgical prayer format, which is a religious practice akin to a Eucharistic celebration but without the consecration part, was followed in the conduct of the session. The recollection was kept active and dynamic through prayers, songs, and reflections.

Fr. Francis Salcedo During the Faith Formation Activity in Zoom

The faith formation activity was divided into three parts: Session 1: Rekindling faith in the workplace and family; Session 2: Rekindling our faith in God; and, Session 3: Reflection and sharing.  Session 1 emphasized the importance of eliminating stress in our life as it becomes the main cause of depression. Fr. Francis encouraged everyone to take care of themselves because it is in doing so that they can take care of their loved ones. He also encouraged the participants to offer help and seek help when needed.

In the second part of the session, Fr. Francis enjoined everyone to love his/her work - be it in the office or at home. This is because love is intertwined with faith. Without love, no one can be faithful. He ended this session by recommending ways on how to balance family life. He said that (1) listening to one another; (2) forgiving each other; (3) focusing on the many blessing of God; and, (4) always praying as a family, are the best ways to pursue spirituality in the family. 

In the next session, Fr. Francis concentrated on the mystery of suffering and declared that suffering is part of being human and is the destiny of each human being.  He also provided a theologian’s approach in discussing what suffering means by presenting a video clip that talked about the three books of wisdom: Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, and Job. The said clip centered on Job’s painful sufferings, how he moved on from those sufferings, and how God blessed him with more than what he used to have. Fr. Francis concluded that sufferings are ways to rekindle our faith in God.

In the last part of the recollection activity, the participants were divided into groups of four for the breakout session. They were asked to share among the members of the group their reflection on these questions: “What message in this recollection is most meaningful to your right now? Why?” Everyone shared their realizations, difficulties, and blessings amidst the pandemic. They also expressed that being part of the Lasallian community was indeed a blessing.  Additionally, everyone is convinced they are not alone in this journey and fight against the pandemic.

In conclusion, the activity resonated what Ms. Christine Abrigo has said during her opening message: “We are thankful we get to eat breakfast with our family every day, we still have our jobs, and we are healthy.”

Group Photo during faith formation activity