By Katie Beckmann Mahon, Communications Manager
While many people would describe the months passed since March as challenging, Cathy Trapp, an Associate of the Sisters of Saint Dominic of Blauvelt, New York, viewed this time as an “awakening.”
For Cathy, a mother and grandmother, these past eight months have helped her focus on aspects of life that are often taken for granted, as well as gain a deeper appreciation for community and God’s blessing, even during difficult times.
Yet, with this awakening came a great deal of anxiety about the unknown.
Cathy explained, “Dealing with the fear and threat that COVID-19 engendered was unlike anything I had ever faced.”
The pandemic hit close to home for Cathy, as she lost a relative to COVID-19, and several of her friends and family members, including grandchildren, became sick.
Cathy also had a significant concern for her daughter-in-law, who was on the frontlines fighting this disease, as an Emergency Room Nurse.
When thinking about her daughter-in-law, Cathy reminisced about a personal conversation they had in April.
“She called me crying on the phone, totally exhausted, asking me what she should do. How could she continue with her work, all the dying, all the hours, not enough staff or PPE? And yet, how could she leave? Who would be there for these sick folks? I had no answers, just an ear for listening.”
During March and April, when the tri-state area was getting hit badly, Cathy was reminded of stories her father told her about the Flu of 1918 and the “traumatic impression it left on him as a boy of seven in Brooklyn.”
For Cathy, those stories have shifted her focus on the effects this pandemic will have on “all the children affected” whose “lives have been turned upside down.”
While Cathy's concerns remain, she has still managed to focus on the “awakening” this time has created and “the need for community.”
“I was fortunate to find community in being present at Harmony Farm in Goshen. Working one day a week and sharing all kinds of life aspects with (Sisters) Didi, Ellenrita, and others were a gift. It fed my well being and provided another awakening to the myriad blessings God forever offers us.”
One of the reasons Cathy has been able to focus on her community, which includes the Sisters of Saint Dominic and their ministries, is that she recently retired from the Archdiocese of New York in January.
Her 40 years of ministry with the Archdiocese has helped her to “keep all those affected, whether it be the teachers and students, the sick and their families, the health workers and their families, the dead and their families, in prayer.”
As we enter the Christmas season and fears about a second wave grow, Cathy’s faith and connection with the Sisters of Saint Dominic as an Associate remains a crucial element to navigate through these times and embrace the awakenings, whenever possible.
“I like to visualize the image of Dominic finding all his Dominicans hidden in the cloak of Mary, our Mother, and then place the folks I pray for in her cloak too. It’s a picture that gives me comfort, hope, and joy. Placing our faith and trust in God and one another, we will meet the challenges of this pandemic and realize the awakenings as well.”