Las Cruces, NM (KTSM) The doors of Catholic churches in Las Cruces remained locked on Sunday afternoon. However, the Diocese of Las Cruces says starting next weekend, Mass times will start going back to normal, and there will even be daily Masses.
“After being indoors for a couple of months it’s a fresh breath of air coming to church seeing people, the service getting the communion all of that,” said Francisco Molinar, a Las Cruces churchgoer.
Sunday morning, the Catholic community of Las Cruces once again viewed service from Facebook live. The Dioceses of Las Cruces says a handful of people did stop by to see the early morning masses in person on Sunday, filling churches to about a five percent capacity.
“Lots of people are attending church at home. But there’s nothing compared to having the communion here at the church,” said Molinar.
According to Las Cruces Diocese are planning to open their churches at 25 percent capacity either during the week or by next weekend. They say churches will have weekly scheduled confessions done at a distance.
However, some Las Cruces churchgoers say they prefer to keep watching online.
“I think it’s going to be a gamble, you know because a lot of people are really scared and I would be like, really scared. But I might go, but I doubt it, I’d rather do the virtual. I like it. I think you can just be at home and do what you have to,” said Elizabeth Limon, a Las Cruces churchgoer.
The Diocese of Las Cruces says that churches who do begin to have mass indoors will offer more Masses for people to attend—adding that those masses will be staggered, so there is enough time to clean the pews in between.
In El Paso, Bishop Mark Seitz says Mass will remain suspended for now.
One El Paso churchgoer says she wouldn’t feel comfortable going back to church yet. Once they do reopen it will be in phases.
“It would make me really nervous to go there now with everything that’s going on even with masks,” said Carol Estrada, a El Paso churchgoer.
As for Las Cruces all parishioners returning to mass inside are required to wear facemasks.