As the winter holidays approach, local churches have created new ways to celebrate and embrace the season despite the circumstances of COVID-19. Due to the pandemic a lot of events for churches nationwide have either had to maintain a capacity limit, host online events or have events cancelled altogether. COVID-19 has affected everyone worldwide, but for churches it particularly halted a lot of activity since church life in general often revolves around large group gatherings and activities. Although it changed the course of business, local churches in the area have found ways to adapt to allow some events to be possible during this special time of year.
“Our Director of Religious Education has a St. Nick event each year for kids and families, but since this was cancelled he packaged lots of little items in bags and had a drive-through,” said St. Patrick Catholic Church business manager Barb Gawlik. “Our Pastor Fr. Mark also started a Holy Spirit Fruit Initiative in October, and during the month of December we are asking parishioners to make ornaments that match the fruit to place on an outside tree behind the Church.”
St. Patrick Catholic Church, which partners closely with Warhawk Catholic is gearing up for other holiday events as well. Mass will be held on Christmas Eve at 7 p.m. and 9 p.m., and on Christmas Day at 9 a.m. Because of the 25 percent capacity limit, the church asks that people register for attendance at www.stpatrickwhitewater.org.
“God desires to stand with us through the difficulties and hardships, the joys and celebrations,” said Warhawk Catholic co-president Jack Bolog. “Advent is the time where we reflect on what this means to us.”
Warhawk Catholic will be hosting Advent Season Student Masses at St. Patrick’s Church at 7 p.m. Dec. 6 and 13, as well as Prayer and Eucharistic Adoration Dec. 12 at 7 p.m. The Campus Ministry Center is collecting food, toiletries and warming supplies for Bethel House, a local transitional housing shelter, which can be dropped off at the center through Dec. 11.
“The holiday season is important to Warhawk Catholic because the Advent season is a time for us to draw closer to Christ,” said co-president Autumn Longberg.
For those interested in attending events, Saint Patrick Catholic Church is located at 1225 West Main Street in Whitewater and can be reached at 262-473-3143. Warhawk Catholic is located at 336 N. Prairie St on campus and can be reached at 262-473-5555.