SAN ANGELO, Texas — Sundays in West Texas will be looking different for church-goers.
With the spread of COVID-19, Catholic churches are suspending all public Masses for two weeks. This comes after the churches suspended the use of holy water, drinking from the chalice and greeting fellow parishioners.
It was a decision The Most Rev. Bishop Michael Sis found difficult.
"For us to say we are not going to have Mass in church is unthinkable to us, it was the most difficult thing to make that deceleration," Sis said.
With Mass being suspended, the funds the church receives will be a problem. The offertory is how a lot of churches receive money and with no one to fill the baskets, Sis is worried about smaller churches.
"Some of our churches have a highly-developed program of online giving," Sis said. "Those who haven't developed the online giving, it is going to be a big hit."
Mass for many people is a way to express themselves, and way to find answers to their problems.
For many Catholics, going to Mass is a must, no matter what the circumstance. Sis emphasized everyone's health comes first.
"It's more charitable for you to stay away so you don't get other people sick that's always been what we tell people," he said.
The suspension of Mass is not the only thing on Sis' mind. Easter Sunday is slowly approaching, and the thought of having to cancel Mass on such a holy day has Sis worried.
"That is a tremendous loss for me and for our people. We weep over that prospect," he said.
Despite all the negative attention COVID-19 is bringing to West Texas, Sis encourages everyone to stay positive.
"We might feel lonely, we might feel the pain of separation we might get what they call cabin fever," he said. "I am sure we are going to get sick of hearing the word coronavirus, but the fact is you are never totally alone because God is everywhere."