With Gov. Gavin Newsom set to unveil guidelines early this week for restarting in-person religious services, the Roman Catholic Diocese of San Diego has begun planning to safely welcome back parishioners.
The diocese has determined that in-person daily Masses can begin June 8 and set June 14 as the target date for parishes to celebrate Sunday Mass, with significant steps required to enforce social distancing.
The plan is still being developed, taking into account guidance from county and state health officials and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
But it will likely mean big changes, including shorter Masses, protective masks for parishioners, no choir or singing, attendance at 25 percent to 50 percent of capacity, among other things, said Kevin Eckery, vice chancellor of the diocese and a spokesperson for the diocese….
At least 1,200 churches and possibly more statewide are planning to hold in-person services on May 31 for Pentecost Sunday — no matter what reopening guidelines Newsom rolls out this week.
Pastor Fred Zariczny of Oceanside’s Rushing Wind Ministry held in-person services on Sunday despite statewide health orders banning such gatherings — moving worship into the parking lot to enhance social distancing for roughly 100 people in attendance.
“We’re not trying to make a statement,” said Zariczny, who also is founder of Bikers for Christ. “Our one point is that churches are essential. If 7-Elevens are essential, if liquor stores are essential, how much more essential should churches be?”
Rushing Wind Ministry has held in-person worship services for three weeks.
The above comes from a May 24 story in the San Diego Union-Tribune.
The Diocese of Orange announced on May 22 that its public Masses will resume on Sunday, June 14.