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

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.”

Photo credit: Amy Loves Yah on Visualhunt / CC BY

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PARISH REPORT: Hipster Caught Adding Gift Tags to Parish ‘Giving Tree’, Asking for Beer

ACMPress – PORTLAND – Surveillance cameras at Our Lady of Unfailing Hops recorded a parishioner hanging his own gift tags onto the parish’s Giving Tree in the gathering space over a three day period during the first week of Advent. The Giving Tree, erected each Advent, is covered with tags labeled with age ranges, genders and gift suggestions for less fortunate members of the parish and community.

“We located and confronted the suspect after the 11:00 AM Mass last Sunday,” head usher Al Brewer told ACMPress, “and he confessed to placing tags on the tree after showing him the footage.”

According to Brewer, the man – identified as Phil Snurr – hung hand-written tags requesting craft beer, beard balm products, and Pink Himalayan salt. The tags were labeled “Single Hipster Male”.

“We made him remove every tag he put on the tree,” Brewer said. “We also found five gifts under the tree addressed to “Single Hipster Male”. We haven’t decided whether we’ll give them to him, or distribute them to needier hipsters in the parish.”

Fr. M. Eric Cannlogger, pastor of Our Lady of Unfailing Hops, told ACMPress that, while he disapproved of Snurr’s actions, he was grateful at least one hipster still attended Mass.

Photo credit: “KIUKO” on Visual Hunt / CC BY-ND

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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