BELLEVUE (NBC 26) — For the first time since 2019, Easter Sunday mass was in full swing for many across the country including here in Northeast Wisconsin.
For Prince of Peace Catholic Church in Bellevue church leaders say they were emotional and couldn’t wait to welcome church goers Sunday morning.
“If tears are any expressions of how they feel I think a lot of people are glad that they are back and they were glad it was Easter and they understand the meaning of this wonderful day," said Deacon Jeff Prickette.
Prickette said they anticipated a large crowd this year and to meet the demand they added a sunrise mass to help socially distance the crowd out.
“It was simply set up to try and address Covid concerns that we would have more room. We thought we’d have 100 people show up and we had nearly 300 people show up at 6:30 a.m.,” Prickette said.
A huge success he says especially being early in the morning.
The church says they are still taking every precaution they can to keep church goers safe with social distance, pews, mask wearing, and hand sanitizer available.
For Judy Garot a parish member of Prince of Peace Catholic Church she speaks about what it means to finally have the opportunity to attend an Easter Sunday Mass in-person for the first time since 2019.
“It’s wonderful. I’ve been coming back to church ever since they re-opened last June, but being here on Easter and seeing all these people give us all hope. It’s a feeling of community and there’s so much compassion at this church. We all feel grateful that Deacon Jeff has kept the church open. We’ve been doing pretty well, but now for Easter this is really phenomenal to see everyone coming back,” Garot said.
For another church goer, it was her first time returning to a church in over a year.
“This is the first time back at church for myself since Covid started so it’s really special,” said Nancy Cisler. "I hope I don't cry."
Cisler said everyone has their own level of comfort and she wanted to make sure she felt as safe as possible before returning.
“Well now I feel safe because I’ve had my shots and its been three weeks since we’ve had them," Cisler said.
But all an in all church goers said they were just happy to be inside the house of the lord on Easter.