Overcoming Online Fears During the Pandemic
By Allahi Badnisar
My name is Allahi Badnisar. In the past, I worked at the OAS (Organization of American States) in Washington DC. I would like to share some of the experiences I had with retired friends from the OAS, who receive the Pilgrim Mother.
On March 31, 2020, right at the beginning of the pandemic, under the initiative of Teresa Bustamante y Manuela Leon, we formed a Zoom group to pray the Rosary every day.
This was my experience: We invited people who receive the Pilgrim Mother and others who don’t. Added to that we were from different countries; there was much that we did not have in common. It was an interesting experience for me. Not everyone knew how to manage the Zoom connection nor how to lead the Rosary. Others did not know well how to pray the Rosary. Therefore, coordinating all of this implied much tolerance and patience. In the end, our perseverance and constancy achieved that we as a group felt we had so much in common, and of course, we ended up learning to manage well the Zoom connection. We continued to pray our daily rosary via Zoom until July 2021. We made a pause during the month of August, because most people are gone on vacation.
I know that the MTA is happy about our efforts, because we have seen how she cares for us and blesses us. Here are some echoes from my friends about the meaning the daily Rosary via Zoom had for them.
Martha Guzman: “For me that half hour that involved praying the Rosary was to speak, deliver, suggest, thank, ask, and receive the blessings of Our Blessed Mother… in silence and be united through the friendly voices of the others in prayer.”
Margarita Hernandez: “I was the last one to join the group. What I enjoyed the most was that I had to take the place of leading the Rosary for the people who could not enter or participate for some reason. My family received many blessings and miracles; during that time, my daughter recovered from cancer.”
Cecilia Estrada’s experience: “Me and my 100-year-old mother joined the zoom group to pray the Rosary. The purpose of the group was to pray for all the people and their families affected by the virus. My Mom and I know the importance of prayer, because it gives us peace and tranquility. We have learned to put everything aside and take time every day to pray. For me and my mom it was wonderful to be part of this group and to feel integrated as a family through Zoom.”
Manuela Leon’s experience: “Starting the Rosary group was a great idea to get together and see each other. It was tense because many of us didn’t know how to follow the protocol and we learned from the people who did. Reflecting, it was a great initiative and a blessing to get together, we met new people, some moms joined the group. We prayed for the families and friends who lost their lives; we prayed for the health of our loved ones.”
Ann Marie Polack’s experience: “My experience with praying the Rosary was to thank God for choosing Mary, to thank the Virgin Mary for accepting to be the Mother of God and St. Joseph for not rejecting her when he found out she was pregnant. Regarding the Rosary group, it is comforting to pray the Rosary and even more so when we all get in line.”