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St. Michael’s Parish Celebrates First Mass Since the COVID-19 Shut Down

Fr. Johnathan Schmolt confers the final blessing.


Catholic churches throughout state including the Diocese of Erie have not had a public Mass since the COVID-19 shut down. The suspention orders did not come from the governor, but from the PA bishops.

The Most Rev. Lawrence T. Persico, bishop of Erie, in union with the bishops of Pennsylvania, dispensed the faithful of the Diocese of Erie from the obligation to attend Sunday Mass since March 17, 2020. Public Masses were suspended until June 1st, yet with a significant number of protocols required to return to public worship. Not every church in the Diocese was able to resume public worship on June 1st, but St. Michael the Archangel Church in Emlenton was able to resume weekend public worship on June 7th.

Ken Maleski, a parishioner at St. Michael’s said, “The most important thing about being able to attend Mass in person was being able to receive the Eucharist (the REAL presence of Christ), a Catholic privilege.

Masses are planned for 9:00 AM Sunday thru Friday and 5:00 PM on Saturday. All masses will continue to be live streamed. There is overflow, socially distant, seating in the social hall. Only 1/3rd seating is allowed. Facemask are to be worn throughout the Mass, and dispensation from the obligation to attend Sunday and holy day Masses remains in place.

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