Cardinal Thomas Collins celebrates the Daily TV Mass at Toronto’s Loretto Abbey Chapel. Photo by Mickey Conlon

Daily TV Mass comfort draws legacy donors

  • November 11, 2023

Though Deacon Mike Walsh always tells people “that the Daily TV Mass is not a replacement for going to the parish,” he cherishes that so many people view these liturgical broadcasts as a source of unfailing comfort and spiritual nourishment.

The Daily TV Mass becomes such a ritual for older Catholics, especially of limited mobility, that “it becomes top of mind when they are planning their estate,” said Walsh, the president and executive director of the National Catholic Broadcasting Council (NCBC) since 2015.

Over the past year, Walsh said more viewers have contacted his office to enter into a legacy gift agreement with the NCBC, even though they are still living.

“They actually donate to us a larger amount of money, and the investment income off of that funds their sponsorship and it goes on as long as we go on,” said Walsh. “We call that our legacy gifts and we have about 12 Masses sponsored over the next little while through these agreements. That is one new thing. People are always very generous in their Wills and in their estates, but now they are thinking about it as they do their financial planning and estate planning. We’ve had a number of interesting conversations about that.”

Viewers felt inspired to first give financially to the Daily TV Mass quite soon after this broadcasting institution debuted 25 years ago in March 1998. In an article The Catholic Register wrote about the silver anniversary, Walsh spoke about how the founders of the broadcast, Michael and Barb McManus, created an intimate experience.

“I think (the McManus’) attention to the quality of the way in which the Mass is presented — in other words it wasn’t just a robot camera at the back like we have now with many live streams — showed they took great care that people at home could follow along,” said Walsh. “The celebrants they selected were good homilists who could keep people’s attention. 

“Michael said to me when I first met him that his philosophy was to always keep the person at the other end of that lens as the primary focus of what we’re doing, realizing that this is their connection to their faith. This level of care is really obvious when you watch it.” 

Barb warmly remembered that “we received a lot of letters right off the bat that made it clear that (the Daily TV Mass) filled a void,” and that “it was very uplifting for people that had nothing else.”

People began phoning in Mass intentions, and the McManus’ would oblige by sending along these spiritual petitions to the celebrants. The size of this community of prayer can be illustrated by the fact that over 100,000 names are expected to grace the Daily TV Mass’ Book of Remembrance this month. During each Mass this month, the priest will offer an intention “for all of those mentioned in our Book of Remembrance” during the Prayers of the Faithful.

Never was the Daily TV Mass’ potential for filling an important spiritual void more demonstrated than during the fraught early weeks of the COVID-19 pandemic. With very few exceptions, Canadian Catholic parishes were manifestly not prepared to seamlessly transition to a livestream setup. Hundreds of thousands of people across the nation, and from countries around the world, discovered these recordings, which are filmed in the Loretto Abbey Catholic Secondary School chapel, for the first time.

Walsh has found younger generations being introduced to the Daily TV Mass through the financial legacy their deceased loved one left behind through their Will.

“These (patrons) leave behind a legacy that makes the Mass possible for tens of thousands of people across the world,” said Walsh. “It means a lot to people. They will tune in to watch a particular Mass sponsored by their loved one because they know it meant a lot to their parents or grandparents. It is a comfort to hear the name of their loved one read aloud.”

To learn more about giving to the Daily TV Mass, contact the NCBC via e-mail at or at 1-888-383-6277.

Please support The Catholic Register

Unlike many media companies, The Catholic Register has never charged readers for access to the news and information on our website. We want to keep our award-winning journalism as widely available as possible. But we need your help.

For more than 125 years, The Register has been a trusted source of faith-based journalism. By making even a small donation you help ensure our future as an important voice in the Catholic Church. If you support the mission of Catholic journalism, please donate today. Thank you.