Faith leaders’ year of pandemic: grief, solace, resilience

In a pandemic-wracked year, religious leaders and spiritual counselors across the U.S. ministered to the ill, fed the hungry, consoled the bereaved. Some did so while recovering from COVID-19 themselves or mourning the loss of their own family members and friends. At times, they despaired. So many people got sick, so many died, and they couldn’t hug the ailing and the grieving, or hold their hands. For safety’s sake, congregations were kept away from in-person services for months, but the need to minister to them only intensified. Amid it all, these faith leaders showed resilience and found reasons for hope as they re-imagined their mission.