Shown is where Father John C. Garrett, pastor of Resurrection Parish, Delran, has been livestreaming Masses in the parish rectory. The altar table was made by parishioner Tony Lukis. Courtesy photo
Shown is where Father John C. Garrett, pastor of Resurrection Parish, Delran, has been livestreaming Masses in the parish rectory. The altar table was made by parishioner Tony Lukis. Courtesy photo
Tony Lukis is used to handling different remodeling and construction jobs around the home. But at the end of March, the owner and founder of a home repair business was privileged to lend his skills to help his pastor, too.

With churches closed due to COVID restrictions, Father John C. Garrett, pastor of Resurrection Parish, Delran, was working on livestreaming Masses and other prayer experiences in the weeks leading up to Holy Week. However, his efforts were stymied since neither of the parish’s two worship sites – St. Casimir, Riverside, and Holy Name, Delran – had sufficient WiFi capabilities.

Knowing his rectory had WiFi and a small chapel, he decided to livestream from there, but he needed a small altar table from where Masses could be easily seen by viewers. 

Familiar with Lukis’ professional background as well as other work the parishioner of 25 years had done for the parish, Father Garrett asked Lukis if he could make an altar table for the chapel. Lukis finished the job in less than two days. The altar table is made of unfinished wood, which Father Garrett dresses with a white altar cloth, stands 38 inches high and 48 inches wide, and has a surface that sufficiently holds the tabernacle and other items Father Garrett needs to celebrate Mass.

“I’m glad it worked out,” said Lukis, whose other parish projects include refurbishing the rectory kitchen. “I was happy to be part of it.”

Father Garrett extended appreciation to Lukis and other parishioners for “pulling together” during this time of social distancing, especially during the Holy Week and Easter seasons.

“I knew the Triduum was going to be different,” he said, adding that he feels a sense of loss without his parishioners in physical attendance.

“Their virtual presence is an improvement, but livestreaming does not give me the feedback of the community,” he said, though he is glad to know “that it gives comfort to the people who join in.”