Karina Moreno: Communion

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Among the innumerable sadly foregone activities being endured right now, for many it is being unable to attend church. And so it is for Karina Moreno.

I don’t usually go to mass every Sunday. I’m more of a once or twice a month kind of Catholic.

So I’m surprised by how much I miss it: The silent nods upon arrival, the reading of scripture aloud, the call and response, the sometimes deafening organ, the sweet strumming of guitar, a community of young and old. It’s as if prayers are louder, more heard, when they are offered against the colorful glow of stained glass in a church.

I once had a work colleague who was perplexed by my faith, extending one of those digs masqueraded as a compliment, “You’re so smart, I just don’t understand how you believe in God.”

He was the data guy (of course) expounding the age-old dichotomy of science versus faith. I remember it stung at first – made me feel small, until it didn’t.


I find strength in my faith, even while trusting and believing in science.

We can and will get through this pandemic by listening to and acting on the data – to make sound decisions, adapt our behaviors, make sacrifices and in the process save lives and we can do so while believing in something larger than ourselves, putting the we before I, and digging down deep into our reserves of faith and fortitude.

The ritual I most miss about mass is communion. It’s tactile … the metaphorical receiving of grace. I heard that some churches tried to do “drive by” communion, until it was deemed non-essential.

Maybe not receiving communion, but being in communion – with one another and with the natural world – that’s what’s surfacing as the most essential thing right now.

“Peace be with you” – that simple phrase exchanged down the pews has never felt so vital.

Our lives and actions are inextricably linked, something both science and faith can agree on.

With a Perspective, I’m Karina Moreno.

Karina  Moreno is a parishioner at Our Lady of Lourdes church in Oakland.