I received an email today from the President of Villanova University, Father Peter, announcing that classes will remain online for the rest of the semester. Classes had switched to an online format last week, and the hope was that face-to-face instruction could resume after Easter. However, the rapid escalation of covid-19 has eliminated such a possibility. In addition, the on-campus graduation ceremony has been canceled.
Even though it had become obvious that this was the only option, I am sure it was still a tough decision.
At the end of his email, Father Peter included an excerpt from Augustine that offered hope:
Let’s not allow past things to hold us back from hearing about what lies ahead; let’s not allow our involvement in present events to prevent us from thinking about the future. Let us look forward to the things that are to come. Don’t let the sweetness or bitterness of the past hide the word of God from you. Don’t let your past or present prevent you from looking to the future. (Commentary on Psalm 66, 10)
Father Peter then closed his letter with the following:
Finally, a good friend shared a song with me by Forest Blakk and I want to share it with you. If you need me or anyone at Villanova, please put your hand up, we will be there!
It has been wonderful to see people in our neighborhood putting their hands up, asking for help with grocery shopping or with making masks, and then witnessing the outpouring of offers to help.
The song is called Hands Up, by Forest Blakk, and it is perfect for the situation we all find ourselves in.
I hope all of you are doing well; if not, please put your hands up…
*image from Sunraysia Community Health Services