Many San Diegans celebrated Easter Sunday indoors this year. Last Easter, churches were closed and forced to do virtual services due to the pandemic.
Currently, San Diego County is in the red tier for reopening guidelines. That means indoor activities in places of worship are allowed at 25% of capacity. Worshipers must still wear masks and churches must following sanitizing guidelines.
Inside Mary, Star of the Sea Church in La Jolla, there are empty pews to keep families separated. A volunteer is also keeping close track of the number of people who enter the building.
“We follow the protocols the best that we can. We deal with a variety of people who feel different things. Even though there is space inside the church there are people who prefer to be outside still, some of the seniors, so we try to accommodate, said Father Patrick Mulcahy, pastor at Mary, Star of the Sea Catholic Church.
Mulcahy says that as more and more people get vaccinated, the crowds on Sunday have increased. Volunteers from his parish have been helping older church members set up vaccination appointments and have provided transportation.
Despite the restrictions, worshipers are happy to be back in person.
“It’s good to celebrate your faith with a bunch of people,” said Thad Witmur, a La Jolla resident
I’m done with zoom meetings. There’s nothing better than getting the word of God here at the church,” said Ed Chopski, a La Jolla resident.
It’s surreal coming back and going to mass with everybody else,I think you can see more people showing up now with the vaccine out, said Anju Joseph, a San Diego resident.
Once San Diego County is in the orange tier, places of worship will be able to operate indoors at 50% capacity.