I usually only actively practice my Catholicism once a year or so – I sometimes attend the Italian service of the Stations of the Cross at the local Catholic Church in the evening of Good Friday.
Last night, I chose not to do so, as it was dark and gloomy at 7.30pm. But I did go for a walk earlier on before sunset.
What I found was that there were a lot of local restaurants and takeaways open: the seafood restaurant on the corner, the Thai restaurant near the church, the fish & chip shop, the pizza shop, and the gourmet burger joint.
And of course, the McDonalds near the supermarket.
Back when I first moved into Avondale Heights 19 years ago, when wandering off to the Catholic Church on Good Friday to attend that Italian service in the evening, there would only be the McDonalds open.
I think that what has happened in the past few years has not been a growing secularisation of society, but that the Covid induced lockdowns which shut down small business and civil society for two years have taken an indirect toll. That is, small business people do not take the right to open their doors for granted at the moment, and so they treat Good Friday not as a solemn public holiday to close up and stay home, but as another business day where they have an opportunity to try and earn some money and keep their businesses afloat.