Reader feels sense of isolation

A sense of isolation, desolation and loneliness.

A sense of isolation, desolation and loneliness.

Courtesy photo

Tim and Darla Dietz, of Botkins, have a Home Shrine in their home.

Courtesy photo

SIDNEY — The Sidney Daily News asked its readers to share their coronavirus )COVID-19) story

A resident of Little Rock, Arkansas, saw the request online and submitted her story.

I still struggle to wrap my mind around the fact that we are all in this situation, but at least we’re together as a global community, not just a bunch of disparate, local ones. As twisted as it might sound, there’s comfort in that.

My husband and I ventured out for groceries this past Saturday, one of the few reasons that are socially sanctioned to leave the house. Since we had been housebound for several days, we also decided to take a detour while we were at it just to see something other than the inside of our home. However, we knew we needed to go somewhere others weren’t likely to be to keep ourselves and others as safe as possible, so we ended up standing at the edge of a lake, under a large tree, in a thunderstorm. Because who else would do such a thing?

I took a picture of my husband there, and as I looked at it when we got home, the sense of isolation, desolation, and loneliness I think many of us feel right now really started to show itself in the image, and even the tree came to resemble lightning branching out across the sky, as if reminding me just how much danger there was and is all around us right now.

I decided to make a wine-toned cyanotype of the image, because, even in such an awful situation, there is still beauty to be found if we just look for it.

This is my coronavirus story so far. I can only hope I don’t end up with a wholly darker one down the road.


L.J. Rhodes

Little Rock, Arkansas


Adapting to a new lifestyle

Editor’s note: Sixteen years ago Tim and Darla Dietz of Botkins made their Covenant of Love with the Blessed Mother and, through that Covenant, shortly thereafter erected, what’s called in the Schoenstatt Movement a “Home Shrine” in their home. Through the Home Shrine and the graces attached to the Shrine, the Blessed Mother has drawn them and their entire family into a deeper relationship with our Lord. They venerate the Blessed Mother in their home as “Mother Thrice Admirable Queen and Victress of Schoenstatt,” under the title ”Sanctuary of Peace.”

BOTKINS — So many things have changed in all of our lives since the onset of the COVID-19. We have had to adapt to a totally new lifestyle; how we get groceries, how we get gas, how we communicate with family and friends. It has a affected our jobs and our work, but, more importantly than all of that, it has affected our life of faith.

God gives us all opportunities to continue to grow closer to Him or, if we choose, to stray away from Him. Live streaming the Catholic Mass in our homes has now become our temporary norm.

As practicing Catholics. it was with great heartache and sorrow to find out that our churches were being closed due to the COVID-19. Catholics believe the Eucharist is the Body and Blood, Soul and Divinity of Jesus Christ, and that, in receiving Him in Holy Communion, we are fed and strengthened to carry on and to endure whatever our Lord wills for our lives. To be filled with Jesus’ Body and Blood is what sustains us and draws us to Him as close as we can be in this life. So, for many Catholics, staying away from the public celebration of the Holy Mass has felt as if our hearts are being ripped out of our bodies.

Hearing that we would not able able to receive the Eucharist in person has been very difficult to endure. We are, however, very grateful for our priests, Father Sean Wilson and Father Jarred Kohn, as well as the entire staff at the Petersburg Parishes. With their love for our Lord and for us, and their congregation, we have been able to live stream daily Mass and Sunday Mass so that we are able, at least, to receive Jesus in Spiritual Communion. Though not the same, it has been sustaining, and will continue to sustain, us through this crisis in our country. It certainly does not replace being at Mass in one of our churches and celebrating with our fellow parishioners, but our Home Shrine is a holy place in our home that we can continue to grow in our faith.

We experience many troubled and chaotic times in our families, in our Church, in our country, and in our world. Where we go for calm and peace, is our Home Shrine. Our Home Shrine is a place of prayer, a place of peace, a place where we can bring our concerns and worries and our joys to God, a place where we can go to think and pray and meet God in a very personal and real way, without leaving our home. We are so thankful to have our Home Shrine, especially at this time, and are grateful for the ability to be able to live stream the Catholic Mass. It is as if we have a little piece of heaven right in our living room.

If you would like to learn more about the Schoenstatt Movement, the Covenant of Love, and the Home Shrine, visit

Tim and Darla Dietz

Botkins, Ohio

A sense of isolation, desolation and loneliness. sense of isolation, desolation and loneliness. Courtesy photo

Tim and Darla Dietz, of Botkins, have a Home Shrine in their home. and Darla Dietz, of Botkins, have a Home Shrine in their home. Courtesy photo