We’ve breached the halfway point of the Christian calendar year. The young miss quoted me some social media thingy about a person who went into a coma on Christmas Day, woke up yesterday and wanted to be caught up on stuff. January was quite a long and surreal narrative, but then we got really interesting.
On the church front, things are slowing down in some places and reverting back to shutdown in others. I noticed the Tucson diocese has reversed reopening. My county has delayed the next phase. I got a concerned call from an engaged couple yesterday who heard their Monday family wedding was going to get swamped in phase 2 (couple, witnesses, minister) because the next threshhold was pushed to Friday. Fortunately, my boss had already found a detail in the state plan about the church tracking wedding guests as we do with Sunday Mass. (Which they already knew about.) So good news: no guest under number 51 would get turned away. However, I had just found out the priest-presider is going into isolation for virus testing. So, bad news: no Mass–no other priest is available.
Just another story from a mid-size parish on the virus front. There are others from behind the scenes–they seem to pop up nearly every day.
A colleague alerted me to this piece. Pretty much nails it. Over ninety percent of Catholic parishes in the US were shrinking prior to 2020. We’ve likely covered the last ten percent in the past half-year.