With the Growing Popularity of Livestreamed Masses, Will Parishioners Return to Church?

Tags: Currents Brooklyn, NY, Crux, Faith, Inspiration, Media, Queens, NY

By Emily Drooby 

Livestreamed Masses have been a great solace for many since churches were shuttered to stop the spread of the deadly coronavirus.

Currents News spoke with Auxiliary Bishop James Massa, who says the tool has been a great way for people to connect with their parish and their faith during the pandemic.

“We’re getting thousands of hits, they’re coming from all over the parish, but also from around the country and around the world,” he explained. “But it is important for us to be together in worship and if technology can help us to do that, then it is truly a gift from God.”

But, now the world is slowly starting to reopen – and that includes churches.

In Italy the liturgy will resume on May 18, while the Brooklyn Diocese has already launched a task force to prepare for their eventual opening.

The question still remains: When churches do reopen, will people come back to the pews – or will they still stream services from home?

Monsignor Michael Curran, a theology professor at St Joseph’s Seminary, says of course they will return to church.

“It’s been a tremendous blessing to have that available, but hopefully, we want to avoid that idea where people would say, ‘Well I can watch Mass,’ with a cup of coffee in their living room, rather than go and be present,” he said. “But I don’t see that happening. I think people are hungry to get back to normality.”

And they are. Parishioners all over the Brooklyn Diocese are desperate to get back into their churches.

While watching from home technically doesn’t fulfill the Catholic obligation, it’s been a great way for churches to connect with their parishioners.

Holy Name of Jesus parish is also live streaming, but they’ve taken it a step further.

They’ve placed the Blessed Sacrament inside in a window – a place for parishioners to feel closer to the church while remaining socially distant.

“We have gotten positive feedback and we plan to keep it there until the churches open,” said  Father Lawrence Ryan, the church’s pastor.