The Rev. John Sheridan, pastor of St. Mary of the Assumption Parish, presided over the church’s first Mass Saturday since in-person activities were suspended for several weeks due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Thirty-two parishioners attended the Mass that began at 4 p.m.
“It was wonderful,” said the Rev. Sheridan. “Everybody worked together, everyone understood, and everyone was so patient. It was very emotional. I was so happy to see everyone. It’s been a long time.”
The church implemented social distance guidelines for the Mass. Parishioners sat at least six feet apart from each other while church staff cordoned off a lot of the pews, according to the Rev. Sheridan.
“We were following every rule that was put up for us,” he said. “I’m just so proud of everyone. Everybody understood and they just rolled with it.”
More than 50 parishioners attended the 9:30 a.m. and 11:30 a.m. Masses Sunday. The Rev. Brian Dunkel presided over the 11:30 a.m. Mass. The combined turnout was far below the usual number of attendees.
“A lot of parishioners really aren’t comfortable in venturing out and being in the community,” said the Rev. Sheridan. “The numbers were way down from what we’re used to, but that’s alright. It going to take several weeks to begin to get up to the numbers we’re used to. I look forward to the day when we’re all together and we can freely and happily share the gifts that are ours.”