Shortly after suspending public participation in Masses to help prevent the spread of the Coronavirus, Bishop Alfred Schlert challenged his staff to use technology to help fill that void.
Within days, the Bishop was celebrating his first-ever livestreamed Mass from the modest private chapel in his Allentown home.
June 14, Corpus Christi Sunday, will mark the end of the Bishop’s daily broadcasts following a remarkable string of 88 straight days.
There now are many alternatives for the faithful who want to participate in a daily broadcast Mass. Many parishes around the Diocese have begun livestreaming during the shutdown.
Those who feel comfortable, of course, are now able to return to Mass in person. Masses with social distancing and other safety and health restrictions returned to the Diocese June 1.
Corpus Christi, the Solemnity of the Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ, is the day when Catholics celebrate the Real Presence of Jesus Christ in the Holy Eucharist. This celebration of Christ’s Real Presence is the perfect occasion for us to once again be “really present” in our parishes as a Family of Faith.
Many Catholics in the Diocese already have returned to Mass, according to reports from parishes in the five counties, and others will join them over time as they feel safe doing so. Eventually, the obligation to attend Sunday Mass will return when the dispensation currently in effect is removed.
“I truly appreciate the many heartfelt calls and emails I received about this daily Mass from my chapel,” Bishop Schlert said. “I’m gratified that this small gesture helped prayerfully connect so many people during this difficult time.”
Livestreams will continue for those parishioners who don’t feel comfortable attending right now, and for those with compromising health conditions. A full listing of parish livestream offerings is available here.