During quarantine, many shops, stores, and malls have been forced to shut down. However, it is not just these places; churches all around the world have suffered from the outbreak of coronavirus. One catholic church in Tujunga, Saint Matthew Korean Catholic Church, has started to make positive changes. In the beginning, it was hard to start online masses due to the lack of equipment, but as time went on the church decided to do masses outside with chairs six feet apart so that people could sit as they pray. And now that schools have been doing classes online, the church is following the same procedures by doing Sunday School virtually through Zoom.
Saint Matthew Catholic Church has also set-up different ways for its members to take mass. During the outside masses, cameras record the service so that they can do a live broadcast on the church’s Youtube channel for the people that cannot come in person. Masses take place every Sunday from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m. The church has also allowed people who watch online to come twenty minutes after the mass so they can take the blessings. Before the pandemic, everything was done inside, but now all the equipment that is needed for the masses are brought to the patio. Also, canopies are built before each mass time so that the church members don’t have to stay hot during the mass. Many members of the church have spent quality time to figure out how the outside masses would work and about all the different ways that we can improve the church even during this time.
Just as there are many adult members, many students also go to Saint Matthew Catholic Church. The Church has always provided Sunday School for students in Kindergarten to 12th grad. However, again because of the coronavirus, classes weren’t able to start in August. Though, because schools have started online, the church used the same features to start their own Sunday School for K-12 grade students in the Tujunga- La Crescenta area. Classes started on September 12 and they are using a block period schedule so that it is easier for the students to work on their real schoolwork and balance Sunday School. There is a tester for each grade and some classes even have teacher assistants. There are about 10-15 kids in each class all coming in through Zoom.
One member from the church explains, “During coronavirus, I think this is a reasonable way to participate in mass both online and in-person. Depending on the situation of each person, for example, health issues and age, they can choose what is most appropriate for their situation. However, one concern I have is that the people who attend mass online may become too comfortable, so they will not take mass in-person post-pandemic.”
Saint Matthew Catholic Church will continue to carry out church practice until this pandemic is over and it is safe for all to come back to in person service.