Ministry During a Pandemic: Sr. Barbara Duffy, OP

By Katie Beckmann Mahon, Communications Manager


This week’s “Embracing Faith” article will focus on Embracing Faith through Ministry.

“Learn to generously share what you have with those who ask for help,

and don’t close your heart to the one who comes to borrow from you.”

-Matthew 5:42

Over the past few months, many of us have used quarantine as a time to pick up new hobbies or complete projects around the house that we never had a chance to complete.

Sr. Barbara Duffy, OP, a Sister of Saint Dominic of Blauvelt, New York, and a Eucharistic Minister at Emmanuel Catholic Church in Delray Beach, Florida, looked at quarantine as an “extended retreat.”

Even though she was in “retreat mode,” Sr. Barbara had to make some challenging adjustments to her ministries.

“It took a lot for me to adjust to having the church closed. Not being able to go to Mass every day was difficult,” shared Sr. Barbara.

Sr. Barbara Duffy, OP

With her church being closed, Sr. Barbara had to “make good use of this time” and dedicate additional efforts towards her other ministries.

One of those ministries was incredibly crucial during the toughest days of COVID as Sr. Barbara assisted local seniors with everyday activities such as grocery shopping and driving them to appointments.

Sr. Barbara’s other ministry involved collecting and bringing clothing and toiletry donations to the Our Lady Queen of Peace Church in Delray Beach, Florida, for their migrant community.

“I’ve been quite busy since the beginning of COVID. I’ve had to take care of more people within my community and deliver more food to seniors. Also, I get more phone calls asking for prayers.”

Sr. Barbara’s schedule got a bit fuller when her church opened back up on Pentecost Sunday and, since then, she has been serving as a Eucharistic Minister at Mass each weekend.

As more people continue to feel comfortable enough to return to Mass in person, Sr. Barbara has felt that her “ministry has become more important and valued” and that “the church community has become more conscious and thankful to the volunteers and parishioners.”

With an unknown future ahead, Sr. Barbara hopes to continue serving those in need through her ministries, as well as sharing a message of hope to those affected by COVID.


“Keep your faith and trust. The church community is praying for you. You have to believe in that and believe in yourself. Eventually, this will end, but you have to be patient.”

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