Maynooth College Reflects on COVID-19


In recent months there has been huge media coverage of medical and economic issues surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic, but religious questions have less often been addressed. Where is God in the pandemic? Can we draw meaning out of the present suffering? How have parishes been affected, and what can church communities do in these times of restrictions? Finally, what could be the lasting effects on church life?

In his homily for Ascension Sunday (25 May 2020), Archbishop Eamon Martin appealed to theologians and philosophers: ‘I hope that philosophers, sociologists and media commentators of Ireland might begin to reflect on and critique how key societal relationships and partnerships have been impacted – for better or worse – by the pandemic. I encourage our theologians to consider what this crisis is saying to us about Church, about our identity and mission, about our relationship with the State, and about how prayer and faith can help sustain believers in a time of anxiety and crisis.’

Members of the theology and philosophy faculties at St Patrick’s College, Maynooth, have been reflecting on this topic. As a result, a day-conference on COVID-19 using Zoom will be held on Thursday 21st January 2021 (11am-5pm). All welcome. More details to follow on the college website.

Faculty members of the college and associates are also publishing a book, entitled Maynooth College Reflects on COVID-19. This volume will offer short reflections on religious aspects of COVID-19 from various pastoral and theological angles. The book is due to be published by Messenger Press (Dublin) in the early months of 2021.


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