What began as an evangelization pilot program in a handful of parishes in the Fall of 2019, rapidly became, by Lent 2020, one of the most important pieces of technology used in the history of the Catholic Church. The DeSales Media Live Mass Stream program single-handedly made contactless Liturgy in the Diocese of Brooklyn possible. During the Covid-19 pandemic, when churches were closed, DeSales launched its innovative, high definition, NYS guideline-compliant Mass broadcast system. It’s a system that has been enthusiastically adopted by more than half the parishes in the diocese within a few months. This program has allowed the faithful of the diocese to remain engaged, supportive and integrated with their parishes.
The impact will be sustained long beyond the pandemic. Live Mass streams continue to provide a service to the elderly, disabled and vulnerable in our communities, while simultaneously spreading the Word beyond conventional parish boundaries to an often global scale. With online giving, sacraments, and robust reporting included in the program, parishes report viewership from six continents and have seen an increase in offertory despite the decrease in Mass attendance.
Technology will never replace the sacramental life of our incarnational church that happens in fellowship between human beings. But we will continue to harness its ability to bridge gaps and digitally connect people to their faith, not for its own sake, but to move Catholics to action.