Father David Carter, JCL, JV, Father Colin Blatchford and Father Valentin Iurochkin | Sts. Peter and Paul Basilica, Chattanooga, TN
Submitted by: Mary Dale
Throughout the covid shutdown in the spring, the basilica rector, Fr. Carter, together with Frs. Blatchford and Iurochkin and Sr. Imelda Quechol, traveled from house to house in their parish, setting up a cross and monstrance in front of each home. Then they knelt in the street or on sidewalks and prayed with, and blessed, each family in person. Each day of this took hours. People driving by in the neighborhoods, on seeing this, would often pull over and join in.
Too many ways to list. But he and fellow like-minded priests give me great hope.
These 3 priests creatively responded to the deep need of their parishioners to view the Body of Christ at a time when the parishioners were not permitted to enter churches. These priests and sister gave the parishioners tangible reminders that the Church prayed with them, and blessed them, during a time when the churches were forced to close their doors and the clergy seemed cut off from their people.
We need more faithful priests and religious like these.