COLORADO SPRINGS — For many church goers in Colorado Springs, it's been a long couple of months.
"It's been unusual for us," Deacon Matt Kasper with St. Patrick Roman Catholic Church in Colorado Springs said, "because when we do virtual masses we're preaching to an empty church and we're trying to visualize where people sit and speak to them."
This weekend, Catholic churches in Colorado Springs welcomed parishioners into churches for the first time in weeks.
Church leaders blocked off certain pews to encourage social distancing, hand sanitizer stations were set up throughout the church, and parishioners were asked to wear masks during the service. The services were also limited to a reservation system. St. Patrick Roman Catholic Church allowed for about one hundred people in the building, using overflow rooms to continue social distancing.
Additionally, churches still offered virtual services for those who didn't feel comfortable because of their classification in a high risk group or other concerns. Still, welcoming about 140 members to each of its five services over the weekend, is a welcome feeling for the church.
"I think there's been great anticipation of people being able to come back and be really present," Deacon Jim Bachta said, "we're only really able to seat a fraction, a small fraction."
In a press release from the Diocese of Colorado Springs released last week church leaders say they've worked with "priests, secular advisors, and health officials to determine how best to reopen our churches."
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