No Mask, No Mass? Holy Trinity Makes Headlines After Calling Cops on Young Mom

Most criminal trespassing cases barely merit mention in our weekly crime reports, and the names of those ticketed or warned never appear there.

But Deirdre Hairston, a young mom accused of trespassing after refusing to comply with requests to wear a mask, is making headlines after a recent interview about being escorted by police out of Holy Trinity Catholic Church.

CBS DFW reported, “Dallas Catholic Church Calls Cops On Maskless, Pregnant Mom Holding Baby During Mass, Officers Threaten Arrest.”

More headlines followed, including these:

  • “Unreal: Pregnant Catholic Woman Removed by Police DURING HOLY MASS for not wearing a mask – Was Ratted out by her own PASTOR!” – dailytruthreport.com
  • “WATCH: Pregnant mom threatened with arrest for not masking at Church” – thepostmillennial.com
  • And, “Anti-masker lashes out at ‘demonic’ clergy after being booted from Dallas church” –rawstory.com  

Hairston appeared on the video podcast of Taylor Marshall, an advocate for traditionalist Catholicism and author of 2019’s Infiltration: The Plot to Destroy the Church from Within. Hairston later recounted the story on former White House Chief Strategist Steve Bannon’s “War Room: Pandemic” podcast.

During a YouTube interview, Hairston tells Marshall about being approached by the Rev. Milton Ryan, the pastor of the Uptown Dallas parish, while attending 5 p.m. Mass with her 1-year-old child.

She was asked to comply with the church’s mask policy and eventually escorted out by police.

In video she shared on the podcast, Hairston asks, “Am I getting arrested?” and an officer replied, “No, not right now. But if you don’t listen, you will be.”

After being  asked “what’s the crime?” the officer responded “criminal trespass — they don’t want y’all here.”

A Dallas Police Department report confirms officers responded to a report of people refusing to leave the church March 14.

“A woman was criminal trespassed because she was asked by a representative of the facility to put on a mask, and she did not comply. As a result, that representative issued the criminal trespass in the presence of the officers,” a Dallas police spokesperson said. “A criminal trespass last for 90 (days) without a photo and 180 with a photo. The report does not indicate if her photo was taken or not.”

Hairston said she was ticketed for trespassing and also alleged in the interview that an usher went to her car and took pictures of her license plate before she was written a ticket for trespassing.

Hairston is the daughter of former GOP state Sen. Don Huffines. Huffines spoke at a protest of Gov. Greg Abbott’s pandemic restrictions outside the Governor’s Mansion last fall, CBS Austin reported.

Huffines commented on Hairston’s podcast interview on his Facebook page.

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Parishioner Kathy Palter said the church has been “inundated” with emails and voicemails since the incident.

“It’s upsetting. Of course, as we all know, everything is played out in public on social media, and I’ll tell you it feels helpless when a simple little Facebook page for your home parish, which probably gets one or two hits a day if it’s lucky is suddenly blowing up with comments that are so hateful that you don’t even recognize the place where you attend and worship,” Palter said.

She added that there is signage notifying visitors of the church’s mask policy, and the policy is outlined on the church’s website.

“We have a table as you come in, you know, you check in, and there’s someone there to help you if you need to understand what we ask of you, and again, it’s clearly spelled out on the website, and expected by the Bishop. This is not a secret. It’s been this way for a long time,” Palter said. “We’re not done with COVID. It’s still out there, and until we have a lot more people vaccinated and the cases are way down, I think it just makes sense for us to protect each other.”

She added that Holy Trinity is a diverse parish with varied opinions.

“We have all political stripes, we have multi languages and people from many, many different backgrounds, and I’m sure we have a lot of folks that probably don’t love wearing masks, but we do it to protect our fellow parishioners, and also the staff that have to keep the church open, keep it clean, check people in,” Palter said. “There’s more to any story you hear about a particular group of people. We’re a warm, welcoming, caring parish.”

Holy Trinity, which serves the Uptown area, issued a statement two days after the interview was posted on YouTube saying she was not arrested or ticketed, but given a trespass warning. 

“The pastor of the parish has required masks at Mass out of concern for the health and welfare of his entire congregation. Canon law grants pastors jurisdiction over their parishes, and while the bishop has not mandated masks for every parish, he has left these specific details to the pastors of the Diocese, adding that he expects the faithful to wear masks out of charity and concern for others,” the statement read.

Please read the following statement from the Diocese of Dallas concerning an incident that occurred at Holy Trinity. PLEASE NOTE: All comments on this post will be moderated.

Posted by Holy Trinity Catholic Church – Dallas, TX on Monday, March 29, 2021

The Diocese also indicated that officials are looking into the incident. People Newspapers reached out to the Diocese of Dallas, but hasn’t heard back. This story will be updated as we get more information.

People Newspapers editor William Taylor contributed to this report.


People Newspapers publisher Patricia Martin serves as Holy Trinity’s Parish Council Chair and serves in other volunteer ministries.

Rachel Snyder

Rachel Snyder, deputy editor at People Newspapers, joined the staff in 2019, returning to her native Dallas-Fort Worth after starting her career at community newspapers in Oklahoma. One of her stories won first place in its category in the Oklahoma Press Association’s Better Newspaper Contest in 2018. She’s a fan of puns and community journalism, not necessarily in that order. You can reach her at [email protected]

12 thoughts on “No Mask, No Mass? Holy Trinity Makes Headlines After Calling Cops on Young Mom

  • March 31, 2021 at 1:25 pm
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    The Catholic Church has become the official religion of the government.
    Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer are touted as good Catholics who limit freedom with respect to religion in violation of the Constitution and God’s will yet Deirdre Hairston is so evil she is evicted from the church for not wearing a mask.

    Reply
    • April 5, 2021 at 6:43 pm
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      Chuck Schumer is jewish

      Reply
  • March 31, 2021 at 3:44 pm
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    But , President Joe Biden is permitted to receive the Body and Blood of Jesus Christ and HE passes a law allowing Gods Babies to be Murdered in a Mother’s Womb and even after her delivery? What is happening to our Catholic Church? But , a pregnant Mother taking her mask off after receiving The Holy Eucharist , in order to breath, is escorted out of Mass. Really, Biden has committed a Sin against GOD by receiving GOD , who hates Iniquity . Better wake up America and the Catholic Church.

    Reply
    • April 1, 2021 at 10:32 am
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      You’re exactly right, Nancy, and the “diversity” proclaimed by Holy Trinity only applies to those in their political arena – namely Democrats. If we truly believe that Jesus is present in the Eucharist, how can we become ill when in His presence?

      Reply
    • April 16, 2021 at 9:48 am
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      Bottom line. Rules are rules. People have to learn to respect. When you log in to go to church you are agreeing to follow the rules. You are welcome to see mass on utube. Bravo Father Milton’s for keeping us safe.

      Reply
  • April 1, 2021 at 9:26 am
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    Pope Francis criticizes those who protest the health measures aimed at reducing the spread of Covid-19. “Some groups protested, refusing to keep their distance, marching against travel restrictions — as if measures that governments must impose for the good of their people constitute some kind of political assault on autonomy or personal freedom. You’ll never find such people protesting the death of George Floyd, or joining a demonstration because there are shanty towns where children lack water or education, or because there are whole families who have lost their income,” he added. “On such matters, they would never protest; they are incapable of moving outside of their own little world of interests.”

    Reply
  • April 2, 2021 at 10:03 am
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    The Police Officer said the church was a business and she is right. Christ said my House is a house of Prayer not a business. That means this is not His church. You shall know His people by their love.

    Reply
  • April 2, 2021 at 10:27 am
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    Pope Francis is the Head of the Roman Catholic Church and sits in the Chair of Peter, our first Pope. Divine Inspiration , comes through the Holy Spirit to guide Pope Francis on Catholic Doctrine. Pope Francis also has his own thoughts and inspiration to help guide and inspire his people. God Bless our Pope to help us find our way to help serve and love others.

    Reply
  • April 6, 2021 at 1:39 pm
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    Roman Catholic Popes have been granted infallibility by the Church rather recently in history and only on issues of faith and morals, not science.

    Reply
  • April 6, 2021 at 1:44 pm
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    Wondering if there are other nearby Roman Catholic Churches where going maskless would have been fine with the pastor, and if so, why she did not attend there so she could respect her own understanding and that of the Holy Trinity pastor? If all Roman Catholic Churches have this policy, that would be most tragic for the traditionalist faithful.

    Reply
  • April 8, 2021 at 1:21 pm
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    I am saddened and heartbroken by this whole unspeakable incident concerning the young pregnant mother. I have always been so grateful for my Catholic faith, but after viewing and reading about what was done to my fellow Catholic mother, for the Sin of not having a mask pulled over her face. But just when I think this story could not get worse, I find out this woman had just received the Sacred Body of Jesus Christ, and was knealing in thanksgiving holding her young child. This is one time I have felt ashamed to say, “I am a Roman Catholic.” But truthfully, saying I am ashamed of being Catholic, would be like saying I am ashamed of Jesus Christ my Savior, or ashamed that Jesus Christ suffered and died on the cross for my sins or yours. What I am ashamed for is a young mother who was thrown out of her church , by her pastor a man ordained by Jesus Christ to lead His flock. I feel so much pain for so many things that have injured people in our church and I will continue to pray even harder, that God’s will be done on earth as it is in heaven.

    Reply

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