Greece priest after a Sunday with no Mass: 'This reminds me of the Exodus journey'

Berkeley Brean
Updated: March 22, 2020 11:16 PM
Created: March 22, 2020 06:29 PM

GREECE, N.Y. (WHEC) — A Greece funeral is turning into a time to reflect on the spiritual impact of coronavirus. This Sunday, most churches are shut down. And a funeral Mass Saturday could be the last public Mass for a while for one pastor. 

Fr. Bill Coffas, Our Mother of Sorrows Parish: "Well, the funeral was similar to other ones to start with. People were grieving obviously. But obviously, there was the added level of stress at this particular funeral Mass."

Coffas is the pastor at Our Mother of Sorrows Parish in Greece. 

Coffas: "We are living in a time of fear. People say, well these are interesting times we're living in. But actually, we have to be honest. They are times that are filled with fear."

He says you can fight fear with facts and faith. 

Chief Investigative Reporter Berkeley Brean: "What kind of questions are you getting from people, and how do you answer them?" 

Coffas: "People are asking basic questions — how can we stay connected? What can we do rather than coming to Mass now that all public Masses have been canceled?"

Coffas posted a picture today — an empty parking lot at his church on a Sunday morning. Since all Masses are canceled, he posts readings and thoughts on Facebook daily, and his parish set up a phone tree.

Coffas: "And so it's maybe a phone call every other day from another parishioner and saying how are you doing? Can I pray with you? Do you need anything?"

Brean: Is there a message you can offer tonight for our viewers that might offer them some peace? 

Coffas: "Sure. Whenever we are faced with any type of crisis or time of fear like this I see that we have two options — we can run further away from God, or we can run to God. This reminds me of the Exodus journey of the Jewish people. For 40 years, they journeyed in the desert and relied on the God who guided them throughout that horrific and scary journey in which they dealt with hunger and death. We're on that Exodus journey right now. But God has not deserted us, experiencing a time in which we're having all these fears and questions. But the best way to deal with them is through a deepening faith."

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