The days leading up to Holy Week can be the busiest for church staff. But it just got a whole lot busier for the Catholic Diocese of Dallas considering the latest shipments of palm leaves have mold.
Deacon Charlie Stump of the Cathedral Shrine of the Virgin of Guadalupe in Dallas knew on Tuesday when the shipment of boxes came in that this week was going to be different.
"To have this large amount...it's very unusual," said the Deacon.
It's called Palm Sunday for a reason. It's often interpreted as "branches" in the bible. It is what people held as Jesus rode into Jerusalem.
On Friday, workers at the Cathedral spent the day sorting good fronds from the bad.
"When the second batch came in, they were bad. And then the third batch came in and they were bad!" said the Deacon.
Several churches within the Catholic Diocese as well as a Episcopalian church, received boxes of palms where mold had taken over. That means it may be in limited supply. Churches in North Texas are scrambling for more.
The supplier has tried to help churches in their search. The supplier told WFAA the boxes of palms must stay cold but in this warm April and in transport it got too hot. That temperature difference is a conduit for mold.
"We're hoping that we can spread it out amongst all and share for the 5,000 people that came to have food that Jesus was able to share with everybody," Deacon said recalling the fishes and loaves story, also from the bible.
The supplier estimates hundreds of boxes may have gone bad. That's at least 50,000 palm fronds according to the supplier.
The Deacon said people may have to share palms on Sunday and in some cases churches may run out.
The palms are very symbolic for church-goers but the Deacon says not having it doesn't take away any less meaning from Palm Sunday.