PARISH REPORT: Diocese Says EMHC Unemployment Rate May Hit 100%

(ACMPress) WALLA WALLA – A spokeswoman from the Diocese of Walla Walla announced that, as parishes resume public Masses, the unemployment rate for Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion may likely hit 100%.

“It’s a sad situation,” spokeswoman Kno Mo Whyyn told ACMPress. “As public Masses restart, at reduced capacity and Holy Communion being offered only under one species, it’s quite possible most, if not all, of those jobs will never come back. There won’t be the need.”

Ms. Whyyn said the diocese will offer job training to those left unemployed. “The bishop is committed to helping those devastated by the effects from coronavirus. New jobs being discussed are church sanitization and social distance monitoring. Counseling will be made available as well. These are extremely difficult times for our friends in the EMHC community.”

Making things even more burdensome, unemployed EMHC’s aren’t eligible for additional stimulus funds, or state unemployment benefits. In addtion, choirs, music groups, and coffee hour employees are expected to suffer record-high unemployment rates. Even as the economy reopens, these jobs may be some of the last to return, if at all.

“These are unprecedented times,” Ms Whyyn said. “Maybe the silver lining is, they will finally have the opportunity to experience a greater focus on Christ and His sacrifice during Mass, which is the whole point. It’s a lot to ask for, but only God can bring good out of such trying times.”

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Image via Pixabay

PARISH REPORT: Pastor Fills Fonts With Blessed Hand Sanitizer

(ACMPress) GRAND RAPIDS – In anticipation of the public Mass restriction being lifted soon across the diocese, Fr. Mike Robial, the pastor at Our Lady of Good Hygiene, has devised a clever way for returning parishioners to protect themselves from the coronavirus.

He’s filling the holy water fonts with blessed hand sanitizer.

“I received a generous donation of hand sanitizer from a local parishioner,” he told ACMPress. “She’s an Amway distributor, and had gallons of the stuff. At first I didn’t know what to do with it all.”

Fr Robial said the idea came up while having a conversation with the parish permanent deacon, Deacon Taminate.

“He suggested I bless it and distribute it to parishioners,” he explained, “but I figured, why not go one step further? The fonts will be empty, so let’s fill them with sanitizer. Parishioners can bless themselves with it, and sanitize their hands at the same time. Win win!”

Masses are slated to begin Sunday May 24th, preceded by a Blessing of the Masks. Check the online parish bulletin for details.

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Photo credit: mikecogh on Visualhunt / CC BY-SA

Report: Pope to Infallibly Declare Jeffrey Epstein Didn’t Kill Himself

ACMPress – ROME – Sources within the Vatican have told ACMPress that Pope Francis is preparing a document in which he will infallibly declare that Jeffrey Epstein didn’t kill himself.

“The Holy Father has been following the case very closely,” an anonymous spokseman said. “The malfunctioning security cameras in his cell, the conflicting autopsy reports, Mr. Epstein’s alleged crimes and potentially explosive testimony, the removal of his cellmate without a replacement  – these things and more have convinced Pope Francis that his ‘suicide’ was too coincidental.”

Declaring infallibly that Epstein didn’t kill himself would make it a truth binding on all Catholics. “This should end the controversy once and for all, because as everyone knows, when the Church declares something is infallible, Catholics stop arguing about it,” the spokesman said. “So yeah, I’d say this is pretty big noose.”

Photo credit: Catholic Church (England and Wales) on / CC BY-NC-SA

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PARISH REPORT: Church Unveils New Line of Craft Sacramental Wines

ACMPress – NAPA VALLEY – Sts. Bartle & Jaymes in Napa, CA unveiled their long awaited line-up of 2019 craft organic sacramental wines this past weekend, holding tastings for their parishioners after each Mass. The response was overwhelmingly positive.

“I’m so grateful I’m no longer a Baptist,” a woman told ACMPress. “This makes being Catholic so worthwhile.”

Head winegrower Deacon Reese Ling said this year’s crop was the best he’s ever seen. “We had a fantastic growing season. While it’s still a little early to harvest and mass produce, we managed to make a few bottles of each variety, to give the parish a taste of things to come.”

This year’s line-up includes: ‘Ordinary Thyme’, a crisp chardonnay infused with a mixture of herbs; ‘Liturgical Dance’, a rather expressive red blend with just a hint of chiffon; ‘Venial Zin’, a light-hearted not-so-serious zinfadel; “White Privelege”, a bold pinot blanc with a guilty pleasure aftertaste; and ‘Social JustIce’, a sweet dessert wine with noticeable sanctimonious undertones.

“This is our first attempt at dessert wines,” Reese said. “I’m confident the Worship Committee will find a use for it. Maybe for the monthly birthday masses.”

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Photo credit: juanpedraza on Visual Hunt / CC BY-SA

PARISH REPORT: Church Serves Free Range Donuts at Coffee Hour; Attendance Skyrockets

ACMPress – LIBERTYVILLE – Mass attendance at Our Lady of Organic Goodness in downtown Libertyville has increased markedly since May of 2019, and the Welcoming and Holistic Ministry chairwoman knows the reason why.

It’s the free-range donuts being served at the 9:30 AM Mass Coffee Hour.

“We introduced free-range donuts the weekend before Memorial Day,” ministry chairwoman Kelly Flowers told ACMPress, “and ever since, we’ve seen a 42% increase in Mass attendance. It’s so exciting!”

Flowers explained that one of their parishioners, a local farmer named Cam Boocha, offered his free-range donuts to the parish at a discount. “He’d been raising them for a couple years, and he approached us when we announced a new “Farm-to-Table” sustainability initiative. It was totally providential.”

Flowers said Boocha raises two varieties: Plain and sugared. They’re fried in free trade coconut oil, with the sugared variety rolled in certified organic raw sugar.

“They’re delicious,” she said. “Very fresh, light, and you can tell they were fed natural, organic ingredients. Which makes them healthier.”

Other parishes within the diocese have asked Boocha for his donuts, but he’s been reluctant to increase production. “You can’t rush nature,” he said, “and the last thing I want to do is compromise on quality and freshness. Every other donut in the world is raised in a cramped, sterile, kitchen-y environment, designed to pump out donuts hand over fist. I prefer to take my time, let the donuts roam free before dunking them in hot, boiling oil. It’s a much more humane way to raise ’em.”

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