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St. Joseph Parish to offer drive-up Mass

In times of uncertainty, Catholics worry about not being able to celebrate Mass.

The Rev. Allen Hoffa, pastor of St. Joseph Parish of the Panther Valley in Summit Hill, has been busy working to provide parishioners with services digitally since gatherings are not permitted at this time.

He has started live­streaming daily Mass at 8 a.m. on the parish’s Facebook page, followed by adoration, but he is stepping it up to help additional parishioners, who may not have Facebook, participate in Mass without the possibility of being exposed to COVID-19.

At 7 p.m. Friday, Hoffa will hold Drive Up Stations of the Cross in the parish parking lot at 462 W. Ludlow St. Parishioners and anyone wishing to participate can begin arriving at 6:15. People will stay in their cars, but will receive station booklets to follow along.

Hoffa will then walk the Stations of the Cross in the middle aisle of the parking lot. Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament will be included.

In addition, on Sunday, Hoffa has organized a Drive Up Mass in the parish parking lot at 10 a.m. Parishioners will be able to tune their vehicle radios to an FM station, much like you do for a drive-in movie. Hoffa will be set up under the pavilion for the Mass.

Hoffa said this will allow for no human contact, but residents still being able to gather to celebrate Mass.

The only thing parishioners will not receive is the Eucharist.

Parishioners not able to make the Mass at 10 a.m. but who would like to celebrate can do so in two ways Sunday, either on WLSH or Facebook Live, both at 8 a.m.

Hoffa recognized ETA Benefits in Nesquehoning for sponsoring the Mass on WLSH.

Hoffa also said that since this isolation began, he has left the church open to parishioners and about 40 people a day have visited.

“This shows a definite solace in turning to God in troubled times,” he said. “He cares about the people.”

Hoffa noted that this hard time during the Lenten season is a journey of suffering to the foot of Jesus before his crucifixion and resurrection.

“There will be a silver lining to all this,” he said.

St. Joseph Parish of the Panther Valley in Summit Hill will be hosting drive up Stations of the Cross and Mass this weekend. TIMES NEWS FILE PHOTO