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Nontraditional Easter for worshipers as Archdiocese goes virtual for Sunday Mass

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MILWAUKEE -- This Easter Sunday was one many worshipers will never forget.

"It's a very unusual feeling," Auxiliary Bishop Jeff Haines said.

Due to COVID-19 -- it was many local churches' first virtual holiday. Officials with the Archdiocese of Milwaukee said they were hopeful people would remember the message of Easter during a time of many unknowns.

Auxiliary Bishop Jeff Haines

Auxiliary Bishop Jeff Haines

"It is a message of hope and joy, which people are hungering so, so much," said Haines. "They're so afraid. They're so scared."

The Cathedral of St. John the Evangelist in Milwaukee usually sees hundreds of people on Easter Sunday, but the chairs remained empty Sunday, April 12, as people tuned in from home.

"It's strange, the fact that when I celebrate the service, and I'm at the back of the church, I'm not greeting people," Haines said.

In addition to Mass on Easter Sunday morning -- FOX6 News is streaming Catholic Mass twice every Sunday during the pandemic.

Easter Mass at Cathedral of St. John the Evangelist

Archbishop Jerome Listecki

Archbishop Jerome Listecki

The Archbishop of Milwaukee said using technology to keep people connected during this time is important.

"Very grateful to news media, communication media, to our priests with wonderful technology in their parish to be able to keep people connected," Archbishop Jerome Listecki said.

While this Easter may not have been a traditional one for many, Listecki noted ways to come together to make the spirit the same.

"Now, we have to think about it. We have to consciously make an effort to understand -- maybe they can't be right next to me," said Archbishop Listecki. "They can't be praying right next to me, but maybe I can pick up a phone and call them."

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