Father Oscar Mendoza, Administrator of St. Michael Parish, led a drive-thru blessing July 25, 2020, with the Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament. He stood in the rain, with the monstrance safely under an umbrella, and offered a blessing as each vehicle paused. (COURTESY)

Drive-thru blessing inspires faithful

Wauchula  |  During a recent downpour, the faithful of St. Michael Parish in Wauchula patiently lined up in their vehicles to be closer to the Lord.

Father Oscar Mendoza, Administrator of St. Michael, led a drive-thru blessing July 25, 2020, with the Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament. Father Mendoza stood in the rain, with the monstrance safely under an umbrella, and offered a blessing as each vehicle paused.

“At the beginning, the idea of blessing families with the Blessed Sacrament was to replicate what was done a few months ago, visiting house to house and covering as much area as possible,” said Father Mendoza, explaining actions taken the Parish Church was closed due the COVID-19 pandemic.

While the Church is open for Mass, Father said some elderly, sick or those who were still in fear due to the pandemic, are staying away from Church.

Understanding the concern, Father Mendoza consulted with Bishop Frank J. Dewane about options for the public to participate in Adoration, but in a new format. 

“This time it was more meaningful for families, thanks to the suggestion of the Bishop to be outside the church,” Father Mendoza explained. “In fact, it was a success. Many faithful came to the blessing despite the heavy rain that afternoon, which I called a ‘Rain-down of Blessings.’” 

Father Mendoza began by setting up an appropriate outside altar where he could pray before the Blessed Sacrament. While wearing a mask, he carried Jesus forward in a monstrance to be closer to the faithful who remained in their vehicles.

“At that moment, and with great emotion, I could perceive that the individuals and families who received the blessing were deeply moved by His presence and continued on their way with great gratitude and joy in their hearts,” he said. Some people were brought to tears while others sought specific prayers for family members who are struggling because of the pandemic, whether they are ill, in fear, or out of work.

Father Mendoza said he plans to have another drive-thru blessing. “This act of faith could be promoted, since the faithful are hungry and thirsty for God, especially in this uncertain time when they cannot participate in Mass as before due to the pandemic.”