‘I miss them’: Priest puts photos of parishioners in pews for Easter

‘I miss them’: Priest puts photos of parishioners in pews for Easter

YORK, S.C. — Churches around the world are preparing to celebrate the holiest dates on the Christian calendar -- by staying apart from one another.

Divine Savior Catholic Church in York is making sure its church is full.

On Good Friday, Father Adilso delivers Mass on Facebook live to a quiet congregation.

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“I miss them,” he said.

Looking back at him are the faces of his faithful flock. In the pews he placed photos of his parishioners. He expects to have a full house by Sunday.

“It’s comforting for me. At least I can see their faces,” he said.

The empty seats are not empty in spirit.

“There is hope,” said parishioner Michelle Vanhook.

Two of these seats belong to Michelle and Zane Vanhook.

“You wish you could be there, but he’s made us all feel like we are there,” said Michelle.

They’ve celebrated Easter at Divine Saviour for more than 20 years.

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“We are family and not to be able to able to hug them, embrace them and wish them a ‘Happy Easter,' that’s just a difficult time for us,” she said.

Father Adilso finds meaning in Good Friday, a parallel in this pandemic, really. After Jesus was crucified, the disciples locked their doors and hid -- for their own safety.

“We have an enemy outside and it’s invisible we cannot see it and that’s why staying inside is important,” he said.

But he said hope lives in the Easter promise. The dark days do not last forever.

“The resurrection will happen. Better days will come and we just need to be patient and wait for them,” he said.

Father Adilso said his Facebook live masses sometimes have more than a thousand views and he’s received photos from as far away as California

St. Patrick’s Cathedral holds Good Friday Mass online