Diocese to Get National Attention In Video About Creative Ways to Offer Real Presence of Jesus Christ in The Holy Eucharist During The Pandemic

A diocesan priest and an Allentown parish will be part of a Catholic News Service video about creative ways to make the Real Presence of Jesus Christ in the Holy Eucharist available to the faithful during these uncertain times.

A reporter/videographer was at St. Thomas More parish recently for a Saturday evening Parking Lot Mass. The news service also interviewed Father Mark Searles, who celebrated the Mass.

St. Thomas More has two parking lot Masses each weekend. They have been very popular with people who prefer to attend Mass in their vehicles, rather than indoors during the Coronavirus Pandemic.

The Eucharist is distributed at the end, as 6 or 7 priests, deacons, and Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion line up in a traffic circle and the cars drive by.

Father Searles, a resident at St. Thomas More who celebrates at least one of the parking lot Masses each week, called the parking lot concept a creative way to invite people back to Mass.

“It’s been a nice blessing,” he said, “and it has been very well attended.” He said most parking lot Masses fill the lot with 100 or more vehicles.

Father Searles was asked about the effects of the pandemic on the faithful. During the time when Masses were not open to the public for safety reasons, people truly felt the loss of not being able to receive Holy Communion, Father Searles told the reporter. “There was a real longing at that time,” he said.

Priests continued to celebrate Masses daily during that period. “That was a dark and isolated time,” Father Searles said. “It also was a very powerful opportunity for us as priests to go the altar every day and lift up the Holy Eucharist on behalf of the faithful.”

Catholic News Service covers news about the Church around the world, and distributes its articles and videos nationally and internationally. The service, known for its Vatican coverage and its full-time staff in Rome, was founded by United States bishops in 1920.


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