Early in the pandemic before lockdowns were mandatory for all, my friend’s son was a driver for Uber Eats. He was remarkably busy, as so many folks were stuck at home and desperate for a break from the same-old meals prepared by Chef Mom at Chez Abode. In fact, food delivery companies, including DoorDash and GrubHub, did record-breaking business during the pandemic as millions of homebound Americans turned to their smartphone apps to order food from favorite restaurants.  It was dinner-on-demand.

What about Uber Communion?!?!   Long before COVID-19, members of the Home and Hospital Team at Saint Elizabeth, under the coordination of Deacon Barry Midwood, have been providing a different kind of nourishment, the Holy Eucharist, to our homebound parishioners and to parishioners who are unable to get to church in person during recuperation from an illness. 

In fact, our parish is situated in an area that is booming with senior adults, many of whom struggle to get to Mass, even post-pandemic.  Across Chester County, nearly 20% of the population is age 60 or older, and is the fastest growing demographic, ballooning 37% just since 2010. Likewise, senior communities are sprouting up seemingly everywhere, including not only older facilities like Hankin House and Potter House in Eagleview, but also newer facilities like Eagleview Landing.

“We have many Catholic residents, and some that are members of Saint Elizabeth Parish, so I spoke to Deacon Barry about a way to bring Holy Communion to them,” explained Brent Watkins, Eagleview Landing’s Active Living Program Director. “We started in May 2021, as soon as the pandemic eased.”

One of the Eagleview Landing residents added “I am so thankful for weekly Holy Communion and I encourage other residents to attend the prayer service because I don’t want them to discontinue providing the service. I chat with the deacon and he is always so friendly and kind.” 

Saint Elizabeth volunteers provide Holy Communion to Eagleview Landing residents every Wednesday at 9:30 am and Father Kevin typically celebrates Mass there once a month. “They spend time with our residents and have inspired them to continue faith sharing – one resident now leads scripture readings every Sunday morning and hosts rosary prayer services on Mondays,” explained Watkins.

“Maintaining that personal connection to their parish, their faith life is so important,” Watkins added. “It’s a true blessing, since most of our residents are not able to drive or get to church on their own. The Church comes to them now. We all deeply appreciate Saint Elizabeth – especially after a year like 2020.”

A weekly prayer service with Holy Communion and a monthly Mass continue at Hankin House on Wednesdays, too. Long-time Hankin House residents Mary Grace and Frank Esposito have been members of Saint Elizabeth Parish for 12 years. “My wife and I receive Holy Communion every Wednesday,” said Frank. “We also attend the monthly Masses along with about 15 to 20 other residents and enjoy the sense of community with other like-minded Catholics.”

Mary Grace, 89, added, “I love being a Catholic and it makes me happy to still participate in faith life. I’m also a prayer warrior so receiving Holy Communion nourishes me with what I need to keep soldiering on!”

Wow, thank you, Mary Grace – that’s not just Uber Communion. That’s Uber Awesome.

-Lisa Barbadora