GOA: For the first time since March, the doors of a few churches in Goa were opened. Benches were replaced with chairs, statues were removed, holy water founts were kept dry, and sanitisers were installed at all entry and exit points. The congregations, too, looked different. They were armed with masks, tokens and age proof, they sat six feet apart on chairs, and were only let in after volunteers at the door checked their temperature.
“We asked those interested in attending Mass to collect tokens from the church office after providing their name, address and phone number for our record,” said Aldona parish priest Fr Tomas Lobo. “Only those with tokens were allowed to enter.” There were only 48 chairs in the church. “Unfortunately, it is the senior citizens who are regulars in church,” he said.
He said his church got written permission to reopen after it adhered to all instructions of Archdiocese representatives who came to inspect it. “We’re looking forward to celebrating the feast of the nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary on September 8,” he said.
D’Souza also said that a responsibility towards people’s health is behind the church allowing very few people. Meanwhile in Loliem, parish priest of St Sebastian Fr Sydney Dias church said the reopening has been a joyful occasion. “We are thrilled to celebrate Mass for the people, but we’re being very cautious too,” he said.
The News24 Goa