As the coronavirus continues to call for social distancing, some like the Diocese of San Jose, California, are finding creative ways to combine safeguarding the health needs of their parishioners with a way to help the financial health of their projects as well.
In short videos, priests, seminarians, as well as San Jose Bishop Oscar Cantu, are promoting a visit to the outdoors, walking or running, as a way to raise money for vocations in a monthlong event, from June 15 until July 15, called “Rev up the Sems” fun run.
Though the community’s first fun run took place on a track at Bellarmine College Preparatory school in San Jose last year, organizers this year have called for a “virtual” run because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“How does a virtual run/ walk work?” they ask in promotional material. “Run, walk, skip, hop, jump, dance … your pace, your space!”
Those participating send videos or photos to the diocese or can post them on Facebook or Instagram with the hashtag #RevUpTheSemsFunRun.
In one video, Father Andrew Nguyen, of the diocese’s Our Lady of La Vang Parish, takes a stroll while promoting the event in English and Vietnamese.
Different videos show a deacon and a seminarian running down a city street, a woman racking up miles while doing grocery shopping, and a nun walking.
One also shows the head of the diocese, Bishop Cantu, in a T-shirt and off for a run, saying that exercise is “good for the mind, the body and the soul,” as well as an “opportunity to talk to God and to listen to him.”
Father Ritche Bueza, the diocese’s vocation’s director, says that even though the primary goal is to raise awareness of the need for vocations and to raise funds, it’s “more so to have fun during these trying times, to pray for one another, to give thanks for the gift of each other.”