By Juli McDonald

NORWOOD (CBS) — In these times of overwhelming uncertainty, it’s difficult for everyone to be apart from the people, places and routines they love. For those of faith, that includes where they worship.

“It’s like our second home. My kids go to the parish school. It’s a very important place for us,” said Mary Elizabeth Hofmann of Saint Catherine of Siena Parish in Norwood. “We’re there everyday. It’s kind of strange to not be there. This is a weird time.”

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Right now during the coronavirus crisis, when believers might feel called to Mass most, they can’t go. But still, the mission continues.

“There’s a lot of people who need services. It’s a strange time of isolation,” Hofmann said. “People have lost their jobs, unfortunately, and the food bank. Even though we’re not physically there, the work of the parish is still continuing.”

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Other parishioners came up with a way to support their churches across the Archdiocese of Boston. After all, the weekly offertory gifts are typically the main source of income.

“90 Days Now – For Your Parish” is a new, simple, online system allowing donors to give directly to their local church. It’s a three-month campaign that will hopefully bridge the gap until they’re physically together again.

Meanwhile, church leaders are finding comfort in church traditions.

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“The night before Easter there’s a beautiful chant that is sung in every Catholic Church called the ‘Exultet,'” said Fr. Scott Euvrard, pastor of St. Anthony Parish in Cohasset and St. Mary’s in Hull. “I was practicing it myself and one line struck out to me. ‘Let this place respond with joy. Let it shake.’ It’s going to seem weird, strange, singing that in an empty church. But there is that future date which we are going to be able to regather in our parish churches, and they are going to resound with joy.”

Juli McDonald