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Daily TV Mass is filmed at Loretto Abbey in Toronto and is available through various channels, including its website.

People turning to Mass in digital world

  • March 19, 2020

A health crisis is not how Deacon Mike Walsh envisioned attracting more eyeballs to the Daily TV Mass, but that’s what is happening to a ministry that serves people who are unable to attend Mass at a church.

With daily and Sunday Mass being shut down in many dioceses across Canada due to COVID-19, the numbers who access the Daily TV Mass on its various platforms has risen dramatically. Whereas 54,000 people viewed the March 9 Sunday Mass on YouTube, the final Mass before dioceses across the country cancelled Sunday services, the March 16 Mass was viewed 158,000 times within 24 hours, said Walsh, executive director of the National Catholic Broadcasting Council.

Several bishops in dioceses that have cancelled Masses have been encouraging people to make TV Mass a part of their weekday and Sunday prayer.

It’s not ideal that the pandemic has grown the ministry, but it validates its mission.

“I think what it does is it shows the value of having the ministry in place,” said Walsh. “It’s there, it’s available, people are finding it. We’re promoting it quite heavily on Google, Facebook, all our social media advertising.

The Daily TV Mass can be found on numerous television outlets. Salt + Light TV, VisionTV, Joytv, Yes TV and FaithTV all carry the broadcast, both daily Mass and the Sunday service, at various times each day (see dailytvmass.com for schedules). Online, it’s available at all times on YouTube, Facebook and through the NCBC Daily TV Mass app.

Walsh is quick to note that the Daily TV Mass is not a substitute for your Mass obligation, merely a “Sacred Devotional.”

“We’re here for those who physically are not able to go to Mass,” whether from sickness, physical disability or other reasons, said Walsh. “It does not fulfil your Sunday obligation.”

That said, the dioceses that have cancelled Masses have released Catholics from their Sunday obligation for the time being.

The Mass is generally filmed with a live congregation but that will not be the case due to measures put in place to deal with COVID-19. It will still be filmed at Loretto Abbey in Toronto.

Walsh has already been hearing from new members of the donor-funded Daily TV Mass community who have discovered it since COVID-19 measures have come into place.

One comment came from Ralph in Kuwait: “We are in a state of lockdown with all church services cancelled for the last three weeks and will continue indefinitely,” said Ralph in an e-mail Walsh shared with The Register. “I reached out to alternative Masses and stumbled on this daily Mass. I was thoroughly impressed with the homily today…. Please keep the Spirit flowing.”

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