Parishioners Eagerly Anticipate Return To Distant, Unwelcoming Community

May 26, 2020 by  
Filed under Parish Life, Uncategorized

With Masses resuming in the next couple of weeks, many Catholics are now eagerly anticipating their first non-virtual interaction with the distant, unwelcoming community that they haven’t seen in months.

As bishops and priests from across the country prepare for the monumental task of reopening churches with strict guidelines, many are looking forward to their first Mass with their cold and detached parishioners.

“It’s really been tough,” said Fr. Alvin McKinney, pastor of St. Agatha Catholic Church in Sacramento, California. “I’m so used to saying Mass and then going outside to say goodbye to everyone, before watching my unapproachable flock somewhat smile at one another, passively sending off signals not to come close or to speak to them, as if they’ll become protestants the moment they become friendly and emotionally accessible. Though it’s pretty much been the same these past few months in that everyone has still been watching the Mass and not having any sort of communication with each other before or afterward, it’s more natural, more Catholic to do so in person.”

Fr. McKinney also mentioned that for him personally, the strict guidelines recently placed on churches by Governor Gavin Newsom were not at all inconvenient.

“Having parishioners spaced six-feet apart inside the church will be a welcomed change for my parishioners. The majority of Catholics I know have been emotionally six-feet apart from one another for decades, so adding the physical element seems just right.”