More Visitors Expected in Church on Easter Weekend
By: Kate Scott
(Cape Girardeau, MO)--Even more people than usual are expected to turn out at Heartland church services on Easter Sunday.
“Holy Week is always very crowded in our Catholic churches,” says Bishop John Leibrecht, of the Springfield–Cape Girardeau Diocese. “It's the highlight of the year. But because of the war and because of concerns about the future, I’m sure that some that don’t usually come will be here this year.”
Bishop Leibrecht is expecting a flood of visitors to fill Cape Girardeau’s Cathedral of St. Mary this weekend, where he’ll be conducting services. While the Catholic Church isn't doing anything extra to get them there, Leibrecht believes the Easter message in itself is just what today's soul searchers need to hear. “I don't think we're doing anything extra, because I think when it comes to the commemoration of the Lord's Last Supper, His death on Calvary, and His Resurrection, that really brings people,” he tells Heartland News.
On Holy Thursday evening, the cathedral was already packed for the annual “washing of the feet” ceremony. The bishop himself washed the feet of twelve parishioners, just as Jesus did for his disciples during the Last Supper. That message of humility and service was just one of many messages church visitors will hear over the weekend. But whether or not those messages will be enough to keep newcomers in the pews after both Easter and the war are over, Bishop Leibrecht says is out of his hands. “What really takes place in the hearts of people, that's really up to the Lord.”