Around New England

Rhode Island Catholic Church Holding Mass Outside

March 25, 2020

A Roman Catholic church in Johnston, Rhode Island is offering Mass on the steps of the church on Saturday afternoon and Sunday mornings during the coronavirus emergency.

Our Lady of Grace Church is holding no public Masses inside the church, following the directive of Bishop Thomas Tobin, the bishop of Providence, a diocese that covers the whole state of Rhode Island.

But the pastor is inviting people to drive into the church parking lot and stay in their cars. They will be directed to a radio station to tune into so they can hear the priest celebrate Mass, and watch him from a distance while they do so.

“I will celebrate Mass on the steps of the church, and I invite you to join me,” the pastor, Father Peter Gower, says in a video posted on the parish’s Facebook page.

The priest says that as grim as the situation appears, he is filled with hope.

“You know, I think we take the ability to go to Mass and the great gift of the Eucharist for granted. We find so much to be angry about or complacent about. What if this is a reset?  Easter.  A new spring. The resurrection. A new beginning for all of us, about to be upon us?” Father Gower says in the video.

The outdoor Masses are scheduled for 4 p.m. Saturdays and 10 a.m. Sundays during the coronavirus crisis.



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