Fr. Godecker ensures safety at morning Mass

Priest notes challenge of having himself, participants in masks


Cathedran file photo

Fr. Jeff Godecker celebrates a school wide Mass last year in the Welch Activity Center.

Morning Masses are an almost daily occurrence on campus, but with the impact of coronavirus, adjustments have been made and new challenges have occurred. 

Fr. Jeff Godecker, who frequently serves as the priest at the 7 a.m. Masses, said, “I think Mass is meant to bring people together, but obviously with the ways the virus is working and what it’s making us do, it pushes us further apart.”

New measures have been incorporated into morning Masses before school for everyone’s safety. “We pretty much try to follow the same protocols,” Fr. Godecker said. Changes such as limited capacity, seating arrangements and cleaning measures have all been taken. 

Mass is usually celebrated every morning in the chapel in Kelly Hall before school. With coronavirus, times have been altered so that it can still take place in a safe way. Mass starts at 7 a.m. and lasts about 20 minutes.

“The masks, you can’t see the whole face, you can’t see whether I’m smiling, frowning or neutral or whatever. I can’t see how the congregation is responding and a lot of times I don’t even recognize people I should recognize because of masks,” Fr. Godecker said. The masks have caused challenges during Mass because it is unclear of how the congregation is reacting to what is happening. 

“My host and the chalice is very separate from the host that the congregation receives. We cover the host that the congregation receives so that I’m not breathing on them or anything like that,” Fr. Godecker said. 

As there are still adjustments being made, he is working through them so Mass can still be celebrated daily. Fr. Godecker said, “It’s very challenging as it is for everyone every place else.”