Nation’s clergy secretly dreading people returning to church

UNITED STATES—Hundreds of independent reports have confirmed that the country’s clergy are actually dreading the reopening of their churches. 

“It’s going to be hell,” one anonymous Baptist minister said. “Soon the crazy church ladies will be back…” another Lutheran pastor was heard muttering to himself.

Churches across America were closed in March of 2020 for what was supposed to be 15 days in an attempt to slow the COVID-19 pandemic. In a surprise turn of events, churches remained closed for several months afterwards, as the virus continued to spread through the country. The sudden shuttering left many congregations scrambling, as donations fell and parishioners could not find a place to worship. 

As the warm summer months approach, many cities are easing their restrictions. In many places, people are able to return to church for the first time in months—a welcome transition for all except the clergy.

“I really do not want to leave Key West and go back to that miserable Michigan rectory,” one wrote in an anonymous Facebook post. 

Some were more open with their frustrations about the change.

“Ugh, I guess I’ll have to start saying Mass again,” Fr. Bob Stalinislauski, SJ complained. “I hope my alb still fits after quarantine.” 

His assistant, Fr. Augustine Smith, echoed these frustrations. “Quarantine was great; I could say Mass in Latin, ad orientem, in my fiddleback, and skip the sign of peace. And no one could say a word about it! Now I’ll start getting the old complaints again from the teachers I bet,” he said. “I hope the virus picks back up in time for the school year.” 

But not all clergy are as worried about the transition back to in-person worship. 

“I’m not worried about it at all,” said one Los Angeles minister. “We won’t reopen anytime soon!”

Originally published Apr 1, 2020