Indiana churches welcome back parishioners for in person services

Published: May. 24, 2020 at 10:39 PM EDT
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Places of worship in Indiana are inviting their congregations back through their doors this weekend.

16 News Now tells us what's new at a some churches in St. Joseph County.

Not all churches are meeting again in person, but the ones that are have precautions in place to contain the spread of germs.

Still, those attending say its a welcome change as long as they can worship in person again.

"It's great to finally be able to go to mass. I was just texting my sisters saying, 'Please, I just want to go to mass'. It still felt like mass, just kind of different," said St. Joseph Catholic Church parishioner Karen Lavoie.

"I cant wait to get back into it. It's such a crucial part of my life, to miss it is just hard. I had the advantage of being on T.V. to watch it, but it's not the same as actually being in the presence," said St. Therese Little Flower Catholic Church parishioner, Jeff Shafier.

To bring people back through the doors, the churches did-away with some typical traditions like singing, exchanging peace, and post service gathering.

Those in attendance also had to wear masks, distance themselves from others, and sanitize their hands.

Shafier said these sacrifices are worth it as long as he can worship at Little Flower again.

"I have to go back. If I have the opportunity to actually go to mass and not have to just sit in my living room and watch it, I have to take advantage of that," he said.

It's not just the parishioners that are happy to see each other again either.

"It's been two months without seeing the faces of these people. That really gave me a lot of joy even though we're doing all these necessary requirements. But despite all of that, I'm just very happy for us to be able to worship together," said St. Therese Little Flower Catholic Church pastor, Fr. Terrence Coonan Jr.

While the restrictions might take some getting used to, these people agree it's better than watching mass on TV.

Father Coonan said he thinks these restrictions could be in place for a while, and this could be the new normal at churches.