Dear Beloved Friends,
Glory to the newborn King! Peace on earth and mercy mild.
New Year greetings from your friendly neighborhood (and healed!) priest! I pray this note finds you well and healthy (this phrase definitely does have new meaning to me! 😊) as we welcome in this new year on this beautiful Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God.
As many of you know, I started to show symptoms of the Coronavirus on December 14th and tested positive on December 15th. Following protocols, I have been in quarantine/isolation since that day, but am happy to report that I have recovered from the virus and looking forward to being back with you all!
First, I am so incredibly humbled and eternally grateful to ALL of you for your loving and prayerful support during my recovery process. Words cannot capture the gratitude I feel for all of you as well as how much it meant to me during a trying time – from all your calls, texts, emails, gifts, care packages, love, prayers, and much more! It gave me lots of hope and fight to be back with all of you. So, I thank YOU!
I also want to take this opportunity to thank you for your Christmas greetings and gifts you sent my way; it was such a heartwarming and thoughtful gesture, which meant a lot to me as I spent this Christmas isolated from friends and family; though I did get a nice little visit from my family on Christmas day for about an hour! (Pictured below). I hope that you were able to spend Christmas in a blessed way this year given our circumstances.
For my recovery, I do not want to sugarcoat the fact that I had a pretty difficult case of the Coronavirus and experienced almost all the symptoms the virus had to offer. Though there were moments I felt close to going to the hospital, I am just grateful that I was well enough to recover on my own following the Doctor’s and Diocese’s orders, which to them I am so grateful. Please continue to offer up a prayer to healthcare professionals who work on the frontlines and for our Diocese as they continue to work tirelessly carrying us through this pandemic, which is no easy task.
After careful consultation, the Diocese and Doctors are ready to “discharge” me to make my “Michael Jordan come back” to serve you. According to the CDC, I could have come out of quarantine last week, but out of an abundance of caution and with my lingering symptoms at the time, those whom I consulted with recommended me to err on the side of caution and continue to quarantine to 14 days instead (December 28th). With this being said, this upcoming Saturday I will be back beginning with Mass! The only symptom that I am currently dealing with at the moment is fatigue, which is due to the overexertion of my body fighting the virus. With continual rest, prayer, nutrition, and routine, I will gain my energy back in no time!
Out of an abundance of care and caution for all of you, on Wednesday, December 30th, I made sure to get retested and the results came back negative – it was such a welcomed gift! Never thought in my life that my family & I would be so happy that I failed a test!
I pledge to you that I will continue to do everything possible to follow protocols given to us by the local Health Department, CDC and Diocese to ensure that you are all safe. Though symptoms can linger, according to the CDC, for those with mild/moderate cases are no longer infectious after 10 days and those with severe cases can be up to 20 days. I fall under the mild/moderate category and currently have recovered from my symptoms and healed from the virus. As our dear late Pope St. John Paul II once said, “Be not afraid!”
In my reflection, I was deeply drawn to the simplicity and humility of how our Savior came into this world. I am sure that many of our experiences were the same this year/Christmas and I pray that we were able to unite our experiences to His so that we may be able to grow in that intimate love and relationship with our Prince of Peace – no matter the circumstances. May He continue to bring peace into all your homes this New Year!
Please know of my continual prayers for you and yours as we welcome in this year with joy and even, relief. For those of you who find yourself anxious, fearful or disillusioned during this time, please know of my prayers for peace in your hearts. Keep the faith and hope alive!
“To live without hope is to cease to live.” -Fyodor Dostoevsky
Mary, Mother of God, pray for us!
St. Joseph, pray for us!
Happy New Year’s my friends!
Yours in the Newborn King & Blessed Mother,
Fr. Brandon L. Dang
Director of Vocations