Small city, close community: being Catholic in a small town

With its narrow streets, its small stone bridges over the river and its old city centre, Chartres attracts by its charm. Situated in the “Centre” region in the north of France about an hour south of Paris, the city is famous for its Cathedral set on top of a hill that’s visible from miles out of town.
A small town is more likely to form a community in which everyone has a role to play. And inside that community, smaller ones exist that will have to do mostly with the identity of the town. In Chartres, the centre piece is the cathedral built on top of the hill and at the heart of the old city centre, looking over the shops, the city and its surroundings. Being the first – and main – attraction of the city, it is natural that a big Catholic community lives here.
At a time when religion is no longer a main trait of the daily life, it is easier to see communities building and growing over time, having an identity and almost a label. So, in small towns like Chartres, practicing a religion means belonging to a group, an identity and a set of ideas.

UNCERTAINTY ABOUT FUTURE – UNSUSTAINABLE FOR SOME FAMILIES WITH DISABLED CHILD

At the beginning of March, institutions for disabled children in Belgium were forced to close themselves off from the outside world. Parents then had the choice to continue caring for their child at home under limited home supervision or to bring their child to the institution without being able to see them for a long period. After two months, families with a disabled child begin to lose their patience and energy. They have no perspective, because they do not know when this corona crisis will end.

Mental health in times of Covid-19

Maria Perez. 22 years old. Spanish, living in Denmark for an academic exchange since February of 2020. Isolated in a 30-square meter room for two months. Classes from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., even on weekends. No family around. No interaction with the locals. Insomnia. Loss of appetite. Three panic attacks in the last week. She needed an end and she found it. She left one of the most secure countries in Europe for the epicenter of the Covid-19 pandemic. Her choice, considered crazy by many, turned out to be a bold, but calculated, decision to protect her mental health.

What is your drive in life?

The need to upskill ourselves will always be there. The job market is constantly changing; new skills are always going to be sought out for. Technology will always evolve, therefore, if you do not keep up, it will set you back.

Dancing at home

With no festivals this summer due to the Coronavirus, student house Huize Willem (Willem’s House) in Utrecht, the Netherlands, decided to throw their own festival, with the usual intake of some ecstasy pills.

Physically separated but connected during the Ramadan

Muslims worldwide are experiencing the Ramadan in a strange way this year. The month during which muslims fast during the day is the most important month for muslims worldwide. During the month muslims are more conscious of their religion, giving to charity spending a lot of time together, gathering for prayers, readings and dinners to break the fast in the evening. This year will be an unusual Ramadan for muslims having to be separate from each other because of the spread of COVID-19.

FAITH ALSO GOT DEFEATED BY CORONA

Holy Week has also knelt down to the Coronavirus pandemics. In Spain, where these dates have a strong cultural importance, the population lived these days surrounded by an awkward ambiance. Public masses were canceled, again with processions and other massive events related to this festivity.

Ramadan during confinement: A homecoming to basics of the religion

Ramadan during confinement: A homecoming to basics of the religion
In this time of health crisis, Ramadan is in turmoil. Places of worship are closed, and family gatherings are prohibited, preventing Muslims from practicing Ramadan as they used to. In every corner of Europe, believers are returning to their faith and taking advantage of these difficult times to find new ways to reconnect with their families and friends.