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Who are those masked men?

At Mass for archbishop's 10th anniversary, Pastoral Center staff, priests portray 'new normal'

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MIAMI | Welcome to the “new normal”: mask-wearing Mass-goers, sitting six feet apart and pumping hand sanitizer as they enter church buildings.

The description Archbishop Thomas Wenski always gives for life amid the coronavirus pandemic was evident throughout the Archdiocese of Miami this weekend, as the faithful — at least 25 to 30% of them — returned to worship in their churches for the first time in eight weeks.

Nowhere was it more striking than at St. Martha Church this Monday, as the archbishop gathered with Pastoral Center employees to celebrate a Mass marking the 10th anniversary of his installation as Miami’s chief shepherd, back on June 1, 2010.

The concelebrating priests wore masks. The archbishop put on a mask to distribute Communion — and rubbed on some hand sanitizer before doing so. The congregation was spread throughout the church, where every other pew was roped off to create the needed social distancing.

The masks made it harder to recognize people, the archbishop noted. But the variety of masks also revealed creativity and the ability to turn a necessary inconvenience into a fashion statement or spiritual message.

The pictures tell the story.

Making a statement with their masks, from left: Father Matthew Gomez, incoming vocations director; Msgr. Dariusz J. Zielonka, a judge in the Metropolitan Tribunal; and Father Christopher Marino, rector of St. Mary Cathedral.

Photographer:

Making a statement with their masks, from left: Father Matthew Gomez, incoming vocations director; Msgr. Dariusz J. Zielonka, a judge in the Metropolitan Tribunal; and Father Christopher Marino, rector of St. Mary Cathedral.


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