Attending Sunday Mass at Good Shepherd Catholic Church during the pandemic means driving up and tuning in.
Father Vincent Bresowar says the church began offering “drive-up” Mass in mid-May to allow parishioners to continue worshiping safely.
“People stay in their cars and we have a transmitter by FM radio, and they can hear the Mass inside their car, and in this way, it’s safer,” Bresowar said.
Around 100 cars come out every Sunday in Russellville to participate in Mass, according to Bresowar.
“We built a platform next to the roof of our temple, and in a large field, people can park their cars and we raise the platform so people can see the Holy Mass,” Bresowar said.
Masses are bilingual in English and Spanish, as a majority of the parishioners are native Spanish speakers. Bresowar says many of these individuals have been greatly impacted by coronavirus.
“Most of our community, especially here in the church, are from Guatemala, Mexico, they are immigrants. They are very affected, there are many Hispanics in our community who have contracted the virus in their own families, their own homes,” Bresowar said.
Bresowar says that coronavirus has been especially challenging for many in these communities because their work does not allow them to stay home.
“People don’t get much opportunity to rest because they don’t have a lot of money, of course the parents still need to work. The majority, probably 95% of people can’t work inside their home because they have jobs where they can only work at the company or the factory,” Bresowar said.
The church is also working to meet more than just the spiritual needs of the community.
“We also provide food for the poor who need food, who need clothes, we have clothes. We also help with bills, the cost of their bills or the bills because a lot of people are struggling with their bills,” Bresowar said.
Bresowar says the church is open every day and can provide assistance with food or clothing. On Mondays, there is a food bank from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. and a team that comes to help those seeking assistance with bills specifically.