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Fronteras: ‘Pandemic Preaching’ connects lessons of the pandemic with teachings from scripture

The early days of the COVID-19 turned ordinary life on its head — as the U.S. began to shut down, so did houses of worship.

In-person services were suspended and worshippers were unable to turn to the comfort of their churches. Instead, some viewed faith leaders on social media, who conducted services to empty pews. Others found ways to worship in open-air parking lots, similar to drive-thru movies, listening to services on their car radios.

Many worshippers relied on homilies to help them make sense of the chaos, uncertainty, and death that was unfolding around them.

In March 2020, Fr. David — a retired priest who served 44 years with the San Antonio Archdiocese and a former parish administrator at the historic Mission Concepción — was asked by parishioners who couldn’t attend services to write down his homilies.
A year’s worth of them are compiled in his book “Pandemic Preaching: The Pulpit in a Year Like No Other.”

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Al Rendon
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Fr. David Garcia in the hallway of San Antonio's Mission Concepción. Fr. David is the author of "Pandemic Preaching: The Pulpit in a Year Like No Other."

Fr. David said he crafted his homilies to guide remote churchgoers through the pandemic. He used centuries-old lessons of scripture and applied them not only to the world of viruses and contagion, but also to a year filled with social justice struggles.

“The scriptures were written a couple of thousand years ago, but they're telling me something today,” he said. “They're telling me something about life, they’re telling me something about what's going on in my community and society in the world.”

The book is available at San Antonio’s Twig Book Shop, the San Fernando Cathedral “Los Padrecitos” gift shop, and on Amazon.

Norma Martinez can be reached at norma@tpr.org and on Twitter at @NormDog1
Marian Navarro produces for Texas Public Radio's Morning Edition and Fronteras.