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Valley church celebrates Palm Sunday, separated by space but not spirit

Father Gregory Schlarb with Our Lady of Perpetual Help Catholic Church in Scottsdale asked his parishioners to put palms on their front doors.

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. — It’s tough to break tradition.  But going to church on Palm Sunday this year – just isn’t an option.

"It’s a difficult time," explains Father Gregory Schlarb, with Our Lady of Perpetual Help Catholic Church in Scottsdale.  "We can’t be selfish at this time. We need to practice what the CDC is asking."

Father Greg is streaming everything from services to cooking tips.  And he asked his people to put their own palms on the doors of their homes to celebrate Palm Sunday.

"Luckily, we live in a place with many palm trees," he adds, with a smile.

A blessing in bleak times that’s very clear to Traci Martin.

"It just inspired me to remember just because I can’t go to the church and be with the congregation, I can still celebrate at home because the people I’m at home with are the most important people to me," she says.

Traci’s world revolves around their church.  Her son JT goes to school there and they’re grateful Father Greg is doing all he can to connect.

"Drive-thru confessions," she explains.  "He’s doing a whole bunch of things to keep us going."

Fueled by faith, her son JT is also working to keep the family on track.

"He’s got us on a sport routine where we’ve got to run in our yard every day. We’re trying to beat our times every night."

Making new traditions, while still finding a way to maintain the old ones.  One palm at a time.

"The state of the world is the state of the world, but we’re going to go ahead and go with our faith and believe that everything is going to be okay and this is kind of a reminder that everything is going to be okay," Traci shares.

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