UTICA, N.Y. --- This weekend Our Lady of Lourdes Church welcomed back parishioners for in church service for the first time in 3 months.
Parishioners that wished to attend mass needed to register online through their website or Facebook page. This is part of the new changes that have come to the church in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.
"All of the changes are incidental changes but they are important incidental changes to be in line with the protocols that we must observe. What we've come to do remains the same, it's just how we're going about it," said Salerno.
Other changes include heavy cleaning of the church by volunteers before and after each mass. The church has also placed social distancing marks both inside and outside of the church. Parishioners, who are required to wear masks, are also assigned to their seats by ushers to ensure social distancing is being observed. The church is also allowed only between 150-200 people (25-50% capacity) at any given time.
"It's very different dealing with the masks and you can still recognize people it takes a second but on I'm glad that we're here one way or another," said Tanner Bishton.
Father Salerno said that these changes may be difficult, but they're for the benefit of everybody.
"I think we all have to recognize that this is all for the common good. Not only for those of us that gather, but even beyond here. There's still a pandemic going on, this virus is still very real. We have to do everything we can, we have a responsibility to do everything that we can to protect each other and to protect others," said Salerno.
If you do not have access to the internet or have trouble with registering you're asked to call 315- 404-8057 for assistance.