On March 9 of this year, Cameron Bellm was overwhelmed by the nonstop talk of hoarding, work and travel interruptions, and concern over the COVID19 illness itself. Sitting on the floor of her kitchen in Seattle, Washington, the mother of two picked up a Sharpie and wrote a little prayer in attempt to overcome the human instinct to withdraw and isolate when threatened. She posted “Prayer for a Pandemic” on Instagram, where it quickly went viral. You’ve likely come across it yourself. To date, Bellm has witnessed the verses being prayed thousands of times – in private homes, at AA meetings, at an Hispanic prayer group, in an Illinois synagogue, by Bishop David Talley, even by a Moravian priest in Germany – all with her wholehearted blessing. Her consistent reply to those seeking to share her work is, "Thank you for praying with me."
But did you know Cameron has a St. Francis connection? Her firm foundation began right here in Cordova, Tennessee where she attended (what was then) St. Benedict from grades 7 -10. She remembers crossing Chimneyrock for school Masses at St. Francis, and bringing up the gifts at her 8th grade graduation Mass. Cameron cherishes her memories of our Diocesan Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception, as well. Not only was that the site of her Confirmation by Bishop Terry Steib, but she and her husband were married there in 2011, her parents were married there in 1979, and her grandparents in 1950!
Follow Cameron Bellm at her blog, KrugTheThinker.com. When the uncertainty and fright of these days begin to creep in, let us take a deep breath and join in Cameron’s prayer: