As celebration of public Masses resume on Sunday , June 21, St. Rita Parish has started putting in place measures to ensure a hitch free resumption. This is by ensuring strict compliance with the guidelines outlined by the Lagos Archdiocese to safeguard the health of parishioners against COVID-19. The Archbishop of Lagos Most Rev. Alfred Adewale Martins had issued the guidelines ahead of the relaxation of the lockdown on worship centres by the Lagos state government. The governor of the state, Babajide Sanwo-Olu had ordered that mosques and Churches across the state should resume Friday and Sunday worship on June 19 and June 21, respectively after almost three months of closure to curtail the spread of COVID-19. The government however, restricted Christian services to only Sunday and under strict personal health and social distancing conditions. In line with the guidelines, St. Rita, Obadeyi has started putting in place necessary measures to ensure hitchfree Sunday Masses.
The Catholic Herald reporter observed during a visit to the parish that some wash hand basins linked to the church’s borehole had been installed. He also observed that waste baskets had been placed at all the entrances of the Church and at other strategic points in the Church’s premises. The Parish Priest, Rev. Fr. Philip Uchendu said the parish was fully prepared and anxiously waiting for the resumption of normal liturgical worship. He however expressed reservation that weekly liturgical activities would still be put on hold. Fr. Uchendu explained that the parish has procured the thermometer to take the temperature of worshippers before entering the Church. He equally pointed out that the use of face masks and other essentials would be stressed to ensure full compliance with the safety guidelines. Hear him: “The Parish Pastoral Council, the Laity Council and the Church Finance Committee are meeting very soon to review what we have done so far and look at other things we need to put in place to ensure that everything is done according to His Grace directive.”
He also said plans are underway to mark the pews in the Church as a way of ensuring physical distancing during Mass. It is expected that not more than three parishioners would be allowed to sit on a pew from June 21, 2020. Fr Uchendu, while lamenting the negative effects the health situation had impacted on the spirituality of the people and the Church, advised the people not to lose hope but to continue to pray to God for normalcy to return. Some parishioners who spoke to the Catholic Herald reporter, expressed their willingness to return to their usual way of worship and appealed to the government to lift the ban completely