Masses to continue in parish parking lots and through live streaming

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Archbishop Michael J. Byrnes will bless 79 comfort crosses on the altar during the 12 noon All Souls Day Mass Monday, Nov. 2, 2020 at the Dulce Nombre de Maria Cathedral-Basilica in Hagatña. (PNC file photo)

Despite the island being under PCOR-1, Catholic masses will continue in parish parking lots and through live streaming.

Archbishop Michael Byrnes, in a special message, said with Gov. Lou Leon Guerrero’s recent executive order, the Catholic church’s health and safety protocols remain in effect and that the Holy Eucharist shall remain accessible.

“Though the churches are closed to the public, our priests shall continue to provide Guam’s Catholic faithful access to the essential, saving graces of the Holy Eucharist at a number of parishes at this time through the celebration of Masses in parish parking lots. Many of these Masses will be live-streamed to our homebound, elderly, sick, and fragile brothers and sisters,” Byrnes said.

The Archbishop, who is off-island on medical leave, said he remains in close communication with his brother priests as well as Archdiocese of Agaña Curia members regarding developments on the island.

“During these times of heightened anxiety, I send my prayers from abroad,” Byrnes said.

He added that last week’s pivot to “parking lot Masses” is an example of the Catholic Church on Guam working with government and health officials to promote safety while still preserving the beloved sacraments and celebration of the Holy Eucharist that are so vital to lives and souls as baptized children of God.

“Our priests have been working diligently with their staff and volunteers to ensure the safety of their congregations. I am grateful to them. A lot goes into a ‘parking lot Mass.’ Though not ideal, they are a way to bring Christ to the people. Shielded and separated from one another in the safety of their cars at naturally safe distances, the faithful are strongly protected in these instances,” the Archibishop said.

He added: “Our Governor, our island and in fact most of the world are contending with a disaster of a nature and magnitude many have not experienced before in their lifetimes. Working faithfully and relentlessly for the good of the entire island, our Governor is trying her best. She is a dedicated leader. All of us, no matter our positions or backgrounds, desire everyone to be safe from this danger.”

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