Churches cancel services due to COVID-19, digital services offered

Churches+such+as+St.+Louis+de+Montfort+Catholic+Church+have+barren+parking+lots+because+of+service+cancelations+in+response+to+COVID-19.+

Photo by Lily Thomas.

Churches such as St. Louis de Montfort Catholic Church have barren parking lots because of service cancelations in response to COVID-19.

By Lily Thomas, Fishers High School

To slow the spread of the COVID-19 virus, gatherings should be limited to 10 people or less as recommended by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention. This limitation poses difficulties for places of worship and has resulted in the cancellation of many services.

In an effort to continue normality, some churches have held services through digital applications. Sophomore Avery Haselby attends Saint Christopher’s of Carmel, which holds live broadcasting services via the application Zoom.

“I am saddened by the situation, it’s quite strange not being able to see everyone on a weekly basis, but I’m grateful for the online services and I’m glad it’s occurring because it will keep many people safe,” Haselby said. “The majority of my church would be the elderly population, so I am most definitely okay with keeping them all safe. A good thing to remember is that everyone is going through the same thing and that we will get through it.”

Not all churches have taken to the digital world, though. Not having weekly services, especially during Lent and leading up to Easter, could affect some parishioners. Freshman Kristi Lilek, who belongs to St. Louis de Montfort Catholic Church, said that she does not know if her parish is currently doing anything such as digital services.

“I don’t think the closure of services is affecting Lent for me personally, but it could for others,” Lilek said. “For Lent, I am trying to pray the rosary every night. I do miss going to church and going to youth group, though.”

The duration of such closures differs from church to church. A list of closures by county can be found on WTHR’s website.

“It’s tough right now, and it’s easy to become selfish and to lose sight of the road ahead when it’s so foggy,” Haselby said. “It also helps to talk to other followers of the same religion, to boost each other up.”

This story was originally published on N the Red on March 23, 2020.