Revere clergy are welcoming the opportunity to conduct religious services in person following Governor Charlie Baker’s decision to reopen houses of worship statewide.
The Rev. John Sheridan, spiritual leader of St. Mary of the Assumption Church, called the news of the reopening, “delightful, a happy surprise.”
“We are working at preparations [for opening the church for the next service),” said the Rev. Sheridan.
The most well-attended service at St. Mary’s is on Sunday mornings while the 4 p.m. Mass on Saturdays also draws a sizable crowd. Both sessions draw well over 100 parishioners, according to the Rev. Sheridan.
“We’re going to follow all the rules that are presented before us,” he said. “It’s going to be a challenge but we’ll do whatever is asked of us.”
The Rev. Sheridan said one option being considered is the scheduling of an additional Mass. “We’re going to work with the Diocese to figure something out.”
He said he has been livestreaming Masses during the break imposed by COVID-19. “It’s been a real privilege and the response has been great, but I can’t wait to greet the faithful in the traditional way. I’m just going to be happy that we’re back together again.
“It’s been a long journey, but the journey is not over,” added the Rev. Sheridan. “We know a lot of people may not be so enthusiastic about being together and being in a crowd, so this may take a while to get the crowds that we’re used to, but we’re more than willing to wait and work until that date arrives.”
Giulio Costa, a member of a missionary family at the Immaculate Conception Church where the Rev. Daniel Lozo is the spiritual leader, said, “We’re very happy that we can open for the parishioners,” said Costa Monday. “We will follow all the guidelines that are given. We are awaiting an update from the Archdiocese (of Boston). To make it official, we will wait for the Diocese to make a statement.”
Costa said church staff has been getting ready to place hand sanitizers inside the church, along with taking precautions to allow social distancing. “We want to help people feel safe,” said Costa.
Mayor Brian Arrigo said he was thankful to Gov. Charlie Baker for allowing the reopening of the houses of worship in the first phase of the process.
“We are grateful that the Governor’s first phase includes our houses of worship,” said Mayor Arrigo. “This has been a trying time for people who practice their faith in a spiritually supportive and familiar environment. Their faith and devotion is an important factor and getting through this crisis. Certainly we implore everyone to be mindful of the restrictions and requirements of gathering, and we trust that they will observe these requirements for their own safety and for the good of the community at large.”