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SANDUSKY, Ohio (WJW)– It is a monumental safety concern that hits close to home for the head of the Catholic Parishes of Sandusky.

“We’ve had a number of people that work for the parishes that have had COVID. I, being one of them, said Father Monte Hoyles, who had the virus in November and got out of quarantine just before Thanksgiving.

But as we now approach the Christmas holiday, Father Hoyles is putting critical safety measures in place for its three parishes, Holy Angels, St. Mary’s and Saints Peter and Paul, where more than 10,000 people attend.

“The most difficult part is that we don’t get to see our normal parishioners, we don’t get to see the people that we would normally serve.”

But starting this week, in order to attend Christmas Mass in-person, reservations will be mandatory.

The faithful now able to reserve a pew for as small as one person or for a family as large as 20 people.

“We wanted to find a way that people would find that they would feel safe, they would be socially-distant, they would be comfortable coming into the church and worshipping God,” Father Hoyles said.

Mass will be held at all three parishes with several service time-slots being offered throughout Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.

Thursday, Dec. 24:

  • 4 p.m. at St. Mary’s; Holy Angels and Sts. Peter and Paul
  • 4:05 p.m. at the Sandusky Central Catholic School Kinzel Center
  • 6 p.m. at St. Mary’s
  • 6:30 p.m. at Sts. Peter and Paul
  • 9 p.m. at Holy Angels
  • 10 p.m. at Sts. Peter and Paul

Friday, Dec. 25:

  • Midnight at S. Mary’s
  • 8:30 a.m. at St. Mary’s
  • 10 a.m. at Sts. Peter and Paul
  • 10:30 a.m. at Holy Angels

“We hope for the day when we don’t have to worry about that anymore, and people will feel comfortable and come back,” Father Hoyles said.

All mass services will still be live streamed.

For parishioners without internet access, you can call to make a pew reservation.

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