Small cameras are mounted on walls.
The Diocese of Allentown has identified at least one silver lining from the Coronavirus pandemic – permanent improvements in technology to help the faithful stay engaged in the celebration of Masses and other important events.
In mid-March, when public participation in Masses was suspended because of health restrictions, most churches in the Diocese had no means to broadcast their Masses over the internet. That included the Cathedral of St. Catharine of Siena, the central church of the Diocese.
The Diocese scrambled to install a temporary setup to broadcast Holy Week Masses from the Cathedral. But it was clear that a more permanent solution was needed.
Now, thanks to the support of a two generous donors, permanent video cameras, sound equipment and a small control room are in place to livestream Cathedral Masses and other events.
This equipment will be useful long after the pandemic has passed. Attending an Ordination or other special Mass at the Cathedral can be difficult for some because of the travel involved, and because of the fact that many Masses fill the pews to capacity. Now, anyone can participate via the internet.
Many parishes also have installed livestreaming equipment and other technology, such as FM Radio broadcasts for listening on car radios during parking lot Masses.
Watching a Mass on the internet is not the same as attending in person, of course, because to experience the Real Presence of Jesus Christ in the Holy Eucharist, you have to be really present in the pew.
But it’s a good way for those who are not yet comfortable returning to Mass, or those who have compromising health conditions who should not participate at this time.
Going forward, the technological improvement of livestreamed Masses will help connect shut-ins and those who are ill with the celebration of the Mass.
Check with your parish to see if they livestream Masses. Cathedral Masses are generally accessible on AD Today and the Dioceses’s Facebook page.