Sacred Space, the prayer website of the Irish Jesuits, has seen a large increase in the number of visits to the site since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic, with visits up from 15,000 per day to over 20,000 per day. The Sacred Space Facebook page is also recording an increase of followers to 22,287.
John McDermott, Director of Sacred Space, says that, “In addition to our daily prayer and reflections on our website the team has established a dedicated page to ‘Praying through the Covid-19 Crisis’, and on this page we have many reflections, retreats, and prayers to support people during this time of crisis.”
The page also hosts a 14-Day Isolation Retreat written by Brendan McManus SJ and Jim Deeds and since March 30th the Covid-19 Isolation Retreat page has had over 40,000 visits. Office Manager of Sacred Space Fiona Owens says they have received very encouraging feedback from all around the world from those praying with Sacred Space during this time and in particular with the Isolation Retreat. Read below a small selection of their feedback from around the world:
- Thank you for your Isolation Retreat. I have just finished praying Day 10. It has been very, very helpful to me and I am deeply grateful. I am Canadian, starting the 6th week of rigid isolation with my family. The Isolation Retreat helps me focus on what is really important. Keep up the good work.
- The daily prayer is helping me go through this isolation due to the pandemia. I pray that this ministry continues expanding around the world.Thank you to all who make this website possible.
- We in Illinois USA are starting to quarantine at a higher level tomorrow. Thank you for being with us at this difficult time. May you and all in Ireland be well.
- For being there especially in this time of uncertainty.
- Heartfelt thanks to you who work to share this space with us. It is enormously comforting amidst grief, anxiety and isolation to be aware of the prayer and goodness which surrounds us.
- I discovered Sacred Space while searching for content to include in the church bulletin I compile, and I was stunned to step into these beautiful moments of reflection and prayer . . . the God of surprises knew I needed to stop my irritable searching and be still in his presence. I will definitely return and add your wonderful steps to my daily prayer. I work for a Catholic parish in Louisville, KY, and I know that the work I do – outreach during this time of isolation – is important, but the isolation of not being at Mass, not being able to receive communion, not talking to people and living alone besides – all of it has felt overwhelming. I feel as though I have been drifting on an asteroid with only occasional glimpses of home. The Spirit that emanates from the words as you have written them and the ideas as you have arranged them is so genuine, so pure – Thank you for giving me the image of God’s gazing at me with love and for the invitation to see Jesus sitting beside me . . . Thank you for this surprising gift.