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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Man Watches Livestreamed Mass from Back of His Livingroom

ACMPress – FARMINGTON – Parishioner Ken I. Gettanaman, a member of Our Lady of Good Hygeine in Farmington, was initally disappointed that the Archdiocese of Detroit had suspended all public Masses until April 6. That disappointment turned to appreciation when he learned that his parish would be livestreaming Sunday and weekday Masses.

“I’m glad our pastor is doing this,” Gettanaman told ACMPress. “I’m a daily communicant, and while I won’t be able to physically receive, I can at least sit in the back of my living room, just like I do at the church, in the very last pew. So it’s just like being there.”

Gettanaman initially placed his favorite TV viewing chair in front of his 41″ HDTV, but he felt conspicuous. Before the first reading had started, he had moved his chair nearly into his dining room, at a more comfortable distance.

“Feels more natural sitting back here,” he said. “No one will see me leave after communion, either.”

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PARISH REPORT: Church Teams Up with Door Dash to Bring Coffee and Donuts to Shut-ins

ACMPress – SAN FRANCISCO – Members of Our Lady of Hospitality parish, unable to make it to Sunday Mass obligation due to illness, injury, or any other reason, were happy to learn the parish council approved a partnership with DoorDash to have after-Mass coffee and doughnuts delivered free of charge to their homes.

“I’m so excited!” parishioner Timothy Orton told ACMPress. “I can’t always make it to Mass, so knowing a double-cream, double-sugar coffee and two crullers are coming on those Sundays is fantastic. The parish is showing what it really means to be Catholic.”

DoorDash is an on-demand prepared food delivery service that contracts with independent drivers to bring orders from restaurants to consumers through their app. This is the first time they’ve made arrangements with a parish to deliver coffee hour drinks and treats to home-bound parishioners.

“We’re honored to participate,” a DoorDash representative told ACMPress. “It’s important shut-in parishioners maintain spiritual connection to their church through the weekly hospitality of the all important coffee hour.”

Parish Council president Chris P. Kreame said the program won’t be an added cost to the parish. “We’re diverting funds from RCIA. This is San Fran – it’s not like anybody was signing up anyhow.”

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Study Finds End-of-Mass Announcements Take Longer than Average Homily

ACMPress – A recent study conducted by the Pew Research Center determined that announcements read at the end of Mass take longer than the average homily, for the first time in Church history.

“I suppose we shouldn’t be astonished by the findings,” PRC member Ken Vass told ACMPress. “Our study concluded that the average homily length is 6 minutes, 32 seconds, and the average amount of time to read the announcements takes 7 minutes, 5 seconds.”

While the study doesn’t provide reasons for the shift, Vass did mention that Pope Francis had recommended to priests in February of 2018 to keep their homilies brief, “no more than 10 minutes, please!”

“It appears they took the Holy Father’s words to heart,” Vass continued. “Perhaps he should preach on the announcements now, which constitutes little more than reading every page of the bulletin, or call another synod or something.”

The USCCB has suggested the survey results be announced at the end of every Mass this upcoming Sunday.

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