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St. Eugene offers Spanish mass to honor COVID-19 victims

Posted at 5:15 PM, May 21, 2021
and last updated 2021-05-21 17:15:35-04

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WTXL) — A Tallahassee church is paying tribute Friday to people who died from COVID-19. St Eugene Catholic Church is offering a special memorial service, specifically for the Spanish-speaking community.

Department of Health Data shows here in Leon County 2,979 Hispanic people have gotten sick from COVID, resulting in 21 hospitalizations and six deaths.

Abby told ABC27 the church has helped her cope.

"At the end of the day. just the fact that he's here and it's a community where you're welcomed, they don't ask you questions and don't ask you to indicate anything, sometimes you're not ready to talk," said Abby.

Abby said getting to know Father Paschal Chester has changed a lot for her.

"He was always there for me without knowing he was there for me," said Abby.

Father Chester is originally from Ghana but he learned Spanish in Mexico to help teach people the word of God in their own language. Now, using those skills to help people cope during these tough times

"During this particular time of COVID, we decided this particular day, as a faith community, to support people through our prayers. Many people lost loved ones," said Father Chester. "They couldn't even say goodbye to them."

Other parishioners like Dr. Doreen Kobelo said she's seen how the family, open atmosphere of the church has made an impact on people psychologically the past year.

"There's a lot going on. Not only with the pandemic but now with the war between Palestine and Israel," said Dr. Kobelo. "We need a lot of prayer. This is a place you can go to to get that hope and faith that we can get through this together."

The church offers Spanish mass every Sunday at 8:45 am, along with an English service at 11:15 a.m.