As Pullman continues to watch Covid-19 cases increase, WA Alpha’s Andrew Baertlein interviews Father Steve Dublinski of Sacred Heart Catholic Church who finds himself stuck in the middle of the repercussions of the pandemic.
Baertlein, a Broadcast News major and member of WA Alpha’s 2017 member class, reports for Murrow News 8 with aspirations to work as a multimedia journalist and anchorman.
The parish, notably, is tucked between rows of undergraduate housing atop College Hill.
“Our fundamental concern in for the health of the whole community,” Father Dublinski said. “We do what we can. We can’t control what other people do, but we can control what we do.”
Sacred Heart has provided online Mass for those at-risk since early March, offered socially distant confessions, suggested scripture readings for their parishioners, and even delivered Holy Water to 80 different families for Easter Sunday.
However, all in-person services have been canceled as of Sept. 15 according to a letter written by Dublinski on behalf of the Parish. This is the second time since March Sacred Heart has suspended in-person services – the previous of which this past March via the advisory of Bishop Thomas Daly.
The New York Times lists top cities in the United States for Covid-19 cases per capita. Pullman, once peaking high as number one, still remains in the top five.
“What we have seen this year compared to previous years is not much of a change,” Commander Jake Opgenorth said. “When we’re trying to slow or stop the spread of Covid and enforcing the governor’s proclamation, that was kind of concerning.”
And to many students, this comes as no surprise.
“It’s kind of a given,” WSU Student Mwila Mwila said. “When you get thousands of socially deprived students and you put them in a college town with no parents, there is definitely bound to be some people who feel like they don’t need to take on the responsibility.”
In the meantime, Sacred heart continues to adapt – not expecting a return to normal in-person services for another year according to Father Dublinski.