(ACMPress) WALLA WALLA – A spokeswoman from the Diocese of Walla Walla announced that, as parishes resume public Masses, the unemployment rate for Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion may likely hit 100%.
“It’s a sad situation,” spokeswoman Kno Mo Whyyn told ACMPress. “As public Masses restart, at reduced capacity and Holy Communion being offered only under one species, it’s quite possible most, if not all, of those jobs will never come back. There won’t be the need.”
Ms. Whyyn said the diocese will offer job training to those left unemployed. “The bishop is committed to helping those devastated by the effects from coronavirus. New jobs being discussed are church sanitization and social distance monitoring. Counseling will be made available as well. These are extremely difficult times for our friends in the EMHC community.”
Making things even more burdensome, unemployed EMHC’s aren’t eligible for additional stimulus funds, or state unemployment benefits. In addtion, choirs, music groups, and coffee hour employees are expected to suffer record-high unemployment rates. Even as the economy reopens, these jobs may be some of the last to return, if at all.
“These are unprecedented times,” Ms Whyyn said. “Maybe the silver lining is, they will finally have the opportunity to experience a greater focus on Christ and His sacrifice during Mass, which is the whole point. It’s a lot to ask for, but only God can bring good out of such trying times.”
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