Photos of parishioners line the pews at St. Catherine of Sienna Church in Norway. Submitted photo


NORWAY — During the COVID-19 pandemic, Fr. Edward Clifford and Fr. Peter Shaba, SMA, won’t have to stare at empty pews as they live-stream Masses from St. Catherine of Sienna Church in Norway. Instead, they’ll see the smiling faces of many parishioners looking back (four pictures below, larger images available).

“I collected photos from parishioners and my kids mounted them and put them in the pews so that Fr. Ed and Fr. Peter could look around and see their Church family,” said Jodi Roma, a member of the parish staff. “It was amazing.”

The staff even blindfolded Fr. Clifford when they brought him in to see what they had done.

“He was very surprised. We brought him in before the live-stream began,” said Jodi.

Other Maine parishes have also posted pictures of parishioners in pews to offer support to their priests as large gatherings are temporarily suspended, including Holy Family in Greenville (

In each instance, the support has effectively reached the desired recipients.

“He was so moved,” said Jodi. “It was worth all of the work!”

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