Campus Catholic Chapel | Photo by Grace Ramsdell | Edited by Kayli Thompson | The Wright State Guardian
Starting June 2, St. John Bosco Chapel (Campus Ministries) will no longer require masks during in-person ceremonies for their fully vaccinated worshipers.
Campus Ministries, surrounded by the heart of Wright State University’s (WSU) main campus, operates separately from the university and follows different protocols from the university.
The Archdiocese of Cincinnati, who supervises the Chapel, announced that all parishes under their jurisdiction follow the Covid-19 guidelines set by Ohio. This includes lifting mask mandates for fully vaccinated people.
Starting June 2, those attending services at Campus Ministries are no longer required to wear a mask if they are fully vaccinated.
The Chapel uses an honors system to determine whether those attending services are vaccinated or not.
“I don’t really see any way to practically examine whether or not people have been vaccinated in a way that wouldn’t be weird or over-the-top,” wrote Father Timothy Fahey, who leads the congregation.
Capacity limits remain at 75 people, though Fahey admits that limit holds flexible with capacity being exceeded before.
While the pandemic wanes and a return to a new normal becomes possible, some are excited by lifting covid guidelines while others take a more cautious approach. When it comes to practicing their faith, congregates of Campus Ministries hold varying levels of comfortability.
“I personally am not overly concerned. I know a lot of people have been vaccinated, and then I know there’s a fair amount of people that have not been vaccinated. The Catholic bishops of the state said that parishes can get rid of the mask requirements,” Trevor Vorst, an attendee of Campus Ministries and student at WSU, said.
Another churchgoer and a ministry leader, Taylor Lucke, is a little more resigned regarding forgoing masks.
“I will say it is a little scary to think that one day we have to wear masks and the next we don’t,” Lucke said.
Interaction with the WSU community creates additional logistical challenges. The Chapel holds independence from WSU, and many students and WSU community members attend services. Physical closeness to WSU’s residential area and campus creates large recruitment and involvement opportunity.
WSU still requires masks for all while inside campus buildings. Regarding making the difference clear, church leaders like Fahey plan to communicate with the university effectively.
“I think both Catholic Campus Ministry and the University appreciate the relationship we have and are more than willing to accommodate each other. Sometimes that takes a little bit of communication and a little bit of working things out, especially as the policies change. I don’t anticipate any kerfuffle – if there is, we’re happy to work it out,” Fahey wrote.
These logistical challenges are just another part of returning to a new normal post-pandemic.