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Religious services benefit from increase in indoor gathering limit

St. John’s Catholic Church had the highest attendance in over a year
Published: Mar. 28, 2021 at 4:43 PM EDT
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BANGOR, Maine (WABI) - On Friday, Governor Mills executive order increased the limit on the size on indoor gatherings 50% of building capacity.

Members of St. John’s Catholic Church, of St. Paul the Apostle Parish in Bangor were excited about the increase in attendance.

“It’s been such a long time since we’ve had even this many folks in church here.” said Pete Warner, a Bangor resident.

Reverend Andrew Dubois was pleased to see more of his parishioners. “I think it’s just a sign of hope of where we’re going.”

Even though every other row of pews were kept empty, Palm Sunday Mass looked busy.

“I know it means a lot to our parishioners.” said Reverend Dubois. “We’ve been hearing about it for weeks. They’re excited that they were going to be able to come. People are walking in saying I’ve got my vaccine.”

Masks and other precautions were still in place, but the service operated nearly the same as it would have before the pandemic.

“We’ve been coming off and on since they allowed folks to come back to church and been really waiting for this day again.” said Warner.

Reverend Dubois compared the revitalizing of the church to the story of Jesus’ death and resurrection.

“We all had to die a little bit this past year in order to care for one another and to sacrifice things that we all normally love and enjoy doing. Feels like we’re experiencing death and resurrection, exactly like we’re celebrating in Holy Week.”

They continue to livestream the service to another section of the building as well as for folks at home.

“We look forward to when those limits can be extended again as more people are vaccinated.”

On May 24th, the limits on indoor gatherings are expected to increase to 75% of occupancy, while outdoor gatherings can return to full capacity.

“We’ll certainly celebrate that day when we’re all back together again.” said Warner.

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