How are Catholic churches doing during pandemic?

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The Diocese of Phoenix Catholic Schools

The parish of St. Thomas Aquinas, in Avondale, Az, one of the churches that have reopened taking precautions and staying with their guidelines to keep everyone safe.

Ameera Rivas, Staff Writer

The virus has infiltrated many Sunday services, church meetings and youth ministries. Because of the Diocesen orders, all churches needed to be closed during quarantine.  

Some churches did not have enough funding to stay afloat during the closure, which led them to go into financial difficulties and into loans to be able to pay bills, working staff, etc. 

Churches weren’t celebrating live services anymore and weren’t able to obtain much help.  Many parishes provided virtual Sunday services for families that wanted to attend Mass, which helped many Catholic communities.

By mid-June, churches began implementing regulations, though, only half the amount of people being allowed in the church for services, attendees having to wear masks, and everyone was socially distanced.

Father Mario, a priest at Our Lady of Perpetual Help, said, “We are taking everything day by day. We’ve seen how much of an effect this pandemic has had in Catholic churches and in our community. This is all new for us but we know that we have a big God who knows and is controlling everything.”

The changes in these Churches have also had an effect on the youth involved in the Church. America Hernandez, a current Xavier senior student who attends Sunday Mass at Saint Thomas Aquinas said, “It’s been hard for my family not to go to church every Sunday as a family and it’s so weird and different seeing everyone wear a mask in church.” 

While the number of people going to in-person Mass has decreased, there have also been a lot of people joining virtually, in order to still have access to their parishes.

Catholic churches are still figuring out this new way of doing things and hosting Masses. Through virtual services and the use of technology, Masses will continue to be streamed and protocols and regulations will be followed in order to provide a safe environment.