Wilmington church traditions change due to flu concerns

Reported by Gavin Johnson - email
Posted by Peter Smelser - email

WILMINGTON, NC (WECT) - Many Catholic churches in Wilmington area are taking new precautions to help stop the spread of the H1N1 and seasonal flu.

The bishop of Eastern North Carolina recently sent out a letter of concern.

"[They are] asking us to not offer a sign of peace by shaking hands," said Father Steve Carlson of St. Mark Catholic Church. "And also not offer communion from the cup. Precautions to keep from spreading the flu."

St. Mark made the changes a few weeks ago, getting ride of cups and hand sakes, and has even placed hand sanitizer in the church lobby.

St. Mark member Maria Bernwinkler agrees with the changes and thinks they couldn't have come at a better time.

"I think it's a good thing to do right now," said Bernwinkler. "It's a temporary effort to utilize the spread of H1N1 and the other flu. And everything we do won't eliminate it but will help."

Father Carlson says the temporary changes will likely last until Mid-December.

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