Adult Education & Faith Formation » Stay-at-Home Activities During COVID-19 Pandemic

Stay-at-Home Activities During COVID-19 Pandemic

The Lifelong Learning and Adult Faith Formation Committee at Ascension is planning several stay-at-home resources and activities for the parish, including small group book discussions using a video group format over Zoom.  Zoom is easy to use; you just need a computer (hopefully with a camera) capable of downloading the Zoom software, and an email address.  Several groups at Ascension are using Zoom already for Bible study and other gatherings.     

Reading and Discussing Spiritual Classics 

We invite you to join us for a series of book discussions on spiritual classics, which will include The Imitation of Christ, The Dark Night of the Soul, the Cloud of Unknowing, and others. The books are generally available online for free, so they should be easy to access during this pandemic crisis when libraries and bookstores are closed.  You are welcome to participate in any or all of the discussions.  Reading the book before the discussion is ideal, but feel free to join even if you haven’t finished it.  To participate, just send an email to with the name of the book title in the subject line.  You’ll receive a return email before the discussion with a link for the Zoom meeting and further instructions.  

The next Spiritual Classics book discussion will be on Tuesday, June 9 at 8:00 pm to discuss Dark Night of the Soul by St. John of the Cross.  

Dark Night of the Soul is a spiritually moving and mystical book.  Composed as a result of St. John’s imprisonment, the book traces the soul's journey from a state of abandonment and darkness to profound ecstasy in finding the love of God.  St. John describes the spiritual journey with beautifully rich, mystical, and deeply symbolic language.  However, St. John does not simply describe the journey; he offers encouragement and comfort directly to readers as they too struggle with spiritual distress.

The book is available for free online at the Online Catholic Treasury and Christian Classics Online

The Spiritual Classics discussions will be led by Jeff Wood, a member of Ascension since 2018 and chair of the Lifelong Learning and Adult Faith Formation Committee.  Jeff is an attorney and writer and has been leading book discussions for many years.   


Bible Study for Beginners

It's not too late to join us! If you have been wanting to start/try out a Bible Study, these sessions are for you.  Over Wednesday Zoom sessions, we will cover the letter of James. We begin on May 13 and offer a 1:00 pm and 7:00 pm session. Both sessions will meet weekly until the letter of James is complete. Sessions will be facilitated by Mary Catherine Meek. To register, send an email to with “James” and your choice of time in the Subject line and you will receive a return email with additional information. If you miss the May 13 session you are still welcome to jump in at the next session.

Religious Issues in Our Time

Want to discuss contemporary issues in the church and in fiction?  In monthly Zoom sessions we will look at articles about how we are coping as a faithful people with the effects of the pandemic shut-down on our religious practice and how events in our faith community might change going forward. When books are available from the library, we will switch to fiction with religious themes.

The first meeting will be on Tuesday, May 26, at 8 PM and we will discuss these two articles from America magazine:  “What the first Christians can teach us about missing the sacraments and still growing in faith”  and “Catholic parish life (as we knew it) is not coming back anytime soon”.

To register, send an email to with “America articles” in the Subject line and you will receive a return email with additional information and a link to the Zoom meeting.  Sessions will be facilitated by Donna Ioppolo and Maryanne Rusinak.