Returning to Places of Worship

WISCONSIN (CBS 58) -- Along with other businesses and locations reopening, places of worship aren’t far behind. They will reopen their doors at the end of the month.They say they will follow health recommendations, including limited worship and attendance.  “Our comeback plan was put together because it was thoughtful,” said Most Reverend Jerome Listecki, the archbishop of Milwaukee.  Archbishop Listecki announced the “Catholic Comeback” Thursday.  It’s a three-phased approach in returning to parish operations and ministry.“Through the gradual opening, it’ll give pastors the opportunity to see the resources that they need in order to make sure that the environment is kept safe.”  Archbishop Listecki says they’ll be taking safety precautions, including social distancing and deep cleaning and sanitizing after services.  They also recommend people wear masks.During phase one, attendance will be limited to 25-percent capacity.  There will be no choirs and no handshakes during the ‘sign of peace.’

“At Interfaith, our faith partners are really very responsible and really want to assure that their communities are safe,” said Pardeep Kaleka, the executive director of the Interfaith Conference of Greater Milwaukee.  Other places of worship also plan to reopen in stages.  “They’re going to stick with trusting the science and the data and proceed with the caution of the community and understanding that the health of their congregations and the community is the main priority,” said Kaleka.  Leaders say their followers are eager to return to worship, but it’s a sacrifice they have to make for the greater good.  “We’re hopefully keeping people safe and then we can return to our practices basically when we’ve got at least a handle on what’s happening in terms of the spread of the coronavirus,” said the archbishop.  They are still discouraging those with pre-existing health conditions and over the age of 65 from attending services in-person.