MIDVALE — As the sun set on Aug. 27, dozens of faithful Catholics came together to celebrate a special Holy Hour in the parking lot at Saint Therese of the Child Jesus Parish.
Despite the warm weather, parishioners knelt on the hot asphalt to pray for the health and wellbeing of the people who work in the frontlines of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“We pray for the first responders, we pray for our grocery store clerks, we pray for all the cleaning staff and janitors, we pray for our nurses, for the people that work in hospitality, for all those people that through the pandemic has been out there serving others faithfully,” said Fr. Jose Barrera-Hernandez, the parish administrator, who led the service.
As the Blessed Sacrament was set on an altar designed specifically for the occasion, young and old, men and women alike, knelt in adoration.
“This reminds me of when Jesus went evangelizing to many in the outdoors. … If we don’t have open spaces we need to create them,” Fr. Barrera said.
Many of the parish families are looking to keep their faith alive, to feel close to God, and “we have to value them, to open opportunities for the People of God to keep their faith alive,” the priest said. “When you open a space, people respond; when you take care of them, people respond; when you are there for them no matter the challenges, they respond.”
The Holy Hour was livestreamed. In addition to the dozens who were physically present, almost 1,000 people joined in prayer online.
“Thank you, Jesus, because of your manifestation through our Holy Sacrament. … Thank you, Father, for this manifestation of love. You give us strength,” Yolanda Uroza, a St. Therese parishioner, commented online.