The Daily TV Mass has been broadcast to homes, first, across Canada, and now the world, for the past 20 years. One of the constants has been Msgr. Samuel Bianco, right, who has been involved since its inception. Photos courtesy of Daily TV Mass

Daily TV Mass has come a long way since its launch 20 years ago

  • March 17, 2018
A merge between ministry and technology has been bringing Mass into people’s homes for 20 years, and more recently, onto their smartphone screens.

Thanks to Daily TV Mass that is broadcast by National Catholic Broadcasting Council, Mass is available anywhere, anytime. Started in 1998 by the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops, the goal was to bring the Church to those who could not attend Mass, mainly the elderly who used to go daily. Over two decades, it has grown into so much more.

“Pope Francis has emphasized that the Church needs to stay near and connected to people,” said Mike Walsh, the executive director of Daily TV Mass. “Our audience was primarily seniors, but it’s growing now over YouTube and through our app. 
“It’s convenient because you really can go to Mass whenever you want. The younger demographic likes that because they may not be able to make it to Sunday Mass, but they can tune in on their computer or smartphone.”

Daily TV Mass is available on the website ( as well as on their YouTube channel, which has over 20,000 subscribers. On TV, the Mass is available on Vision TV, Yes TV and Salt + Light. 

Walsh estimates between 11-12,000 Catholics across the world tune into the Mass every day. Funding comes primarily from viewer donations.

It is a long way from where they started.

When the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops first approached founder Michael McManus, they wanted to know how to present the Catholic Church on television. They had several ideas, including a documentary and a weekly talk show, until they decided to keep it simple with a televised Mass. On March 2, 1998, Bishop John Sherlock led the first TV Mass at St. Michael’s Cathedral in Toronto.

“He (McManus) used to have a show on Vision TV called The Senior Years geared towards retired Catholics,” said Walsh, who took over the broadcast in 2015 after McManus retired.

McManus made a cameo appearance on the 20th anniversary Mass broadcast March 2. 

“The two most difficult stages in life must be adolescence and the senior years,” McManus said in his reflection.

“The senior years are difficult and I wanted to do something to lessen loneliness, strengthen hope and give courage, and as they say, provide it all in the comfort of your own home. That is how The Daily TV Mass was born.”

The anniversary Mass was filmed at Toronto’s Loretto Abbey, where it has been held since 2014. It was presided over by Msgr. Samuel Bianco, who has been involved with the broadcast since its inception. On its YouTube channel, the Mass received over 16,000 views and comments from around the world such as “Watching from Kenya! Thanks be to God” and “Watching from Pakistan. Thank you for the Daily Mass. We look forward to it every day.”

Walsh says Daily TV Mass is looking forward to the next 20 years of broadcasting

“Our vision of warming the hearts of the faithful continues,” said Walsh. “That’s what remains at the centre of our hearts for all of us involved in this important ministry.”

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