the Web Editors 4-09-2020

Staying home for Easter, a cathedral converted to a hospital, defying despair, and more.

Pope Francis holds a palm branch as he leads the Palm Sunday mass in St. Peter's Basilica without public participation due to the spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19), at the Vatican April 5, 2020. Vatican Media/­Handout via REUTERS 

The symbolic procession was only several meters long and a few potted olive trees were brought in.

Jenna Barnett 4-03-2020

Photo by Elevate on Unsplash

When Raleigh Mennonite Church decided to fast from food waste for Lent, they didn’t know that 14 days in, the World Health Organization (WHO) would declare COVID-19 a pandemic. At a time when a core group of members planned on salvaging still-edible food from the dumpsters outside of grocery stores, hoards of Americans emptied the supermarket shelves of essentials like milk and bread and boxed wine.

Olga M. Segura 4-03-2020

Pope Francis sits at St. Peter's Basilica during an extraordinary "Urbi et Orbi," normally given only at Christmas and Easter, as a response to the COVID-19 pandemic, at the Vatican, March 27, 2020. REUTERS/Yara Nardi/Pool

Catholics wrestle with COVID-19 recommendations given by pope and bishops. 

the Web Editors 4-03-2020

Last rites via zoom, wartime metaphors, Portugal protects migrants, and more.

Migrants detained in an ICE detention facility in Basile, La. display signs related to COVID-19 in this combination of screenshots taken during a video conferencing call. Handout via REUTERS

Detention center COVID-19 outbreaks could quickly swamp local hospitals. 

Mitchell Atencio 4-02-2020

FILE PHOTO: Signage is seen outside of Rikers Island, where multiple cases of COVID-19 have been confirmed, in Queens, New York City, March 22, 2020. REUTERS/Andrew Kelly

While many adjust to a new normal of isolation during the coronavirus pandemic, others are sounding the alarm, warning of the vulnerability of those in America’s prisons and jails.

“If I’m not speaking for the least and the last — and a large group of those are incarcerated people — then who will speak for them?” Rev. Dr. Kelle Brown of Plymouth United Church of Christ in Seattle, told Sojourners. “My solidarity most certainly must be attached to those who are most vulnerable.”

Andrew J. Wight 3-31-2020

People buy supplies in a local store after health authorities found a positive patient of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in the nearby city of Metapan, in Texistepeque, El Salvador, March 19, 2020. REUTERS/Jose Cabezas

Priests, doctors, and journalists there told Sojourners the Central American country of just 6 million people has had one of the most robust responses in the world to COVID-19, the disease caused by the SARS-CoV-2 virus.

A gospel choir performs at the 2020 gathering of the Christian Open Door Church in Mulhouse, France, Feb. 18, 2020 in this still image taking from a video. Christian Open Door Chuch/Handout via REUTERS. 

The prayer meeting kicked off the biggest cluster of COVID-19 in France — one of northern Europe's hardest-hit countries — to date, local government said. Around 2,500 confirmed cases have been linked to it. 

Image via  REUTERS/Tom Brenner

Like grocery store workers and first responders, domestic workers occupy a space on the frontlines of the pandemic. While some care for the elderly and people with chronic illnesses in their homes, others face dwindling job prospects, with little savings to stock up on the groceries and cleaning supplies Americans have flocked to stores for.

the Web Editors 3-27-2020

Church in Kairos time, refusing to physically gather for worship, coping with anxiety in a pandemic, and more.

President Donald Trump talks arrives to participate in a Fox News "virtual town hall" event with members of the coronavirus task force in the Rose Garden of the White House in Washington, March 24, 2020. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst

President Donald Trump pressed his case on Tuesday for a re-opening of the U.S. economy by mid-April despite a surge in coronavirus cases, downplaying the pandemic as he did in its early stages by comparing it to the seasonal flu.

Fran Quigley 3-24-2020

Doctor holding N95 mask. Via Shutterstock. 

A doctor in Indiana confronts a shortage of protective equipment. 

the Web Editors 3-20-2020

Lessons from plagues, the younger Catholic Workers, and loving your neighbor according to kids.

Amanda Abrams 3-19-2020

Photo by Kamala Saraswathi on Unsplash

This younger crop of Catholic Workers is unquestionably interested in activism, but the issues they address are different from those of their predecessors.

Megan Lebowitz 3-17-2020

Workers walk by the perimeter fence of what is officially known as a vocational skills education centre in Dabancheng in Xinjiang Uighur Autonomous Region, China September 4, 2018. Image via REUTERS/Thomas Peter

The Congressional-Executive Commission on China released a report last week in conjunction with the bill’s unveiling, saying that Xinjiang authorities are “systematically forcing predominantly Muslim ethnic minorities, including Uyghurs, Kazakhs, and others, to engage in forced labor.”

Cassidy Wang 3-13-2020

Ed Gramlich, a housing policy adviser at the National Low Income Housing Coalition, said jurisdictions had to analyze impediments to fair housing choice in their communities, but these reports were often not well-written or “just sat on a shelf because the community didn’t even know they existed.”

Sandi Villarreal 3-12-2020

Photo by William Daigneault on Unsplash

As pastors and church leaders determine how best to shepherd their congregations during this health crisis, Sojourners reached out to those who have experience for their best words of advice. Below, we’ve compiled their thoughts.

An empty St. Peter's Square as Pope Francis gives his weekly general audience via transmitted video a day after the Vatican closed the square, seen from Rome, Italy March 11, 2020. REUTERS/Guglielmo Mangiapane

Pope Francis, holed up in the Vatican by Italy's coronavirus epidemic, held his first virtual general audience on Wednesday, thanking medical staff but urging the world not to forget the plight of Syrian refugees.

Communion is served without wine, as a precaution against the coronavirus, at Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic church in Atlanta. March 8, 2020. REUTERS/Christopher Aluka Berry

Churches across the United States are advising parishioners to avoid direct contact with fellow members as an oft-reiterated warning against spreading the coronavirus, which emerged in China last year and causes the sometimes deadly respiratory illness COVID-19.