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Church leaders urge congregants to celebrate ‘Guadalupe Day’ at home

Bay Area

SAN JOSE, Calif. (KRON) – Where fears about the spread of COVID infection in a neighborhood already hard hit by the pandemic will make for a very different religious observance today in San Jose.

There was no stopping many pilgrims from paying homage Friday to the Patron Saint of Mexico, but the pandemic has put a stop to what might otherwise attract thousands of people to Saturday’s annual Our Lady of Guadalupe Feast Day at Our Lady of Guadalupe Church in East San Jose.

“We cannot have 10,000 people. That would be a health disaster” said Bishop of San Jose Most Rev. Oscar Cantu’.

To accommodate those who will come anyway, the church has set up a drive-through where people can be near the shrines to Guadalupe, drop off flowers, and pray in their cars. 

The decision to curtail what has the potential to become a super-spreader event comes as more than half the county’s COVID 19 cases are occurring in the Latinx community.

Many of them live and work in east San Jose, which is why health care works are going door-to-door here testing people in their homes.

Our Lady of Guadalupe is also abiding by a ban on indoor services while at least one other area church, Calvary Chapel, is resisting restrictions and battling the health order in court. 

Observing Guadalupe Feast Day from a distance, or even from the relative safety of their cars will keep parishioners and their community safe says Bishop Cantu’.

“I am demanding and expecting that our catholic churches keep to the protocol.”

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