CFC Student Coordinator Adapts to the Challenges of COVID-19 With Virtual Meetings

When I received the email stating that we would not be returning to Georgetown for the rest of the spring semester, I was unsure how to feel. While I was thankful that the university was taking the necessary precautions due to the COVID-19 pandemic, I knew that I would be separated from my friends for longer than I had expected. I soon realized, however, that physical distance does not mean that connections are going to be negatively affected – it all depends on what we make of the situation. 

As one of the student coordinators of Georgetown’s Catholic Faith Communities (CFCs), one of the questions running through my head during our first week of Zoom classes was how to ensure that our CFCs would continue to bring people together. The CFC program has twelve student-led small groups designed to be a space for students to talk about their faith and everyday lives. One of the things that makes CFCs special is that the community extends beyond our small groups – monthly program-wide events, candygrams, and CFCommunity Service have brought our family together. 

After several meetings to plan our CFC continuity, we found a way to bring the CFC community to students wherever they are in the world through Canvas and Zoom. We are using Canvas to continue to connect within small groups and as a community, brightening each other’s days with hopeful stories and pictures of pets, as well as encouraging reflection beyond weekly meetings. 

Small groups have already started meeting over Zoom, encouraging meaningful discussions about how it feels to be a student and young adult in a world filled with so much uncertainty and anxiety. While these CFCs are not meeting in common rooms or the HFSC, the social connection is there – the people that we have grown to love and trust are looking back at us and listening with the same compassion as they did over Insomnia cookies in a Village-A apartment. 

These past few weeks, I have been reminded of the words of St. Ignatius of Loyola: “Love is shown more in deeds than in words.” Seeing the way that student leaders and participants of CFCs have continued to support each other from thousands of miles away has been comforting. It has brought back a sense of normalcy to a time that has been anything but normal. It has provided an additional feeling of the support that I have needed in this time of unpredictability.

by Leticia Chacón, Georgetown University, Class of 2021

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