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Sunday faithful at Santa Rosa cathedral wait outside, as bishop stays in step with local health order

Parishioners watch Mass on a iPad on Sunday as they stand outside the Cathedral of St. Eugene’s in Santa Rosa. The pews stayed empty Sunday at the Cathedral of St. Eugene as Santa Rosa Bishop Robert Vasa opted not to invite parishioners inside to avoid defying Sonoma County’s stay-at-home order. Typically, Vasa said Sunday evening in an interview, a Pentecost Mass like Sunday’s would draw more than 400 people. At least 40 showed up, but they had to wait outside, where they were able to receive the Eucharist following the Mass, said Vasa, who officiated the 10:30 a.m. service streamed on Facebook. The bishop had previously considered holding Mass in defiance of the county’s public health order but decided Saturday to heed it. “I’m going to wait patiently,” Vasa said. “Whatever they decide, I will abide by.”

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