“I came to think I was the only one who would miss Mass with the Pope. In Puerto Rico, we are still quarantined,” said Iris Lugo.
Mary Grenada wrote from Argentina: “Too bad!!! It was very important for us every day to have mass at home. I hope they send our request to continue to the Pope. Thank you!!! From Argentina.”
Catherine Addington wrote on Twitter on May 19 : “I miss the @Pontifex daily Mass livestream.”
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Vatican News reported May 20 that thousands of people in China had watched a translated livestream of the pope’s Mass via WeChat and that the news that the live broadcast would be ending was “greeted with some suffering and also with some tears.”
Vatican News said that it had received messages from thousands of people expressing appreciation for the pope’s Mass livestream during the pandemic.
Sister Mary Anne told CNA that she believes that even in places where churches are reopened, like Italy, the homebound and other Catholics would likely appreciate the opportunity to view the pope’s Masses and hear his homilies.
She said that during quarantine the sisters in Kenya had been teaching students using Zoom, but internet and electricity cuts to some students’ homes made it challenging.
“We know we are among the fortunate ones with a chapel, internet access, food and shelter. Our life of prayer and work can continue, although in new ways,” she said. “Our days, especially our Eucharistic adoration in turns, are offered for our suffering world and the end of this pandemic.”
As public Masses resume in some parts of the world, parishes will also be deciding whether to continue the Mass livestreams that they offered during the pandemic.
Fr. Gregory Apparcel, rector of St. Patrick’s Church, Rome’s English-speaking parish, told CNA that the parish livestream had gained a much wider audience than he had expected.
“We also have many, many people participating in these Masses from the U.S. and other countries where public Masses are not yet available. And, also from many people who are homebound for many other reasons,” he said.
The priest said he had received requests to continue the Masses despite the lockdown’s end.
“They hope that we will continue to do this, which we will try to do throughout the summer, and beyond if necessary,” he said.
“It has opened up a new ministry that we never thought we needed to do.”
Courtney Mares is a Rome Correspondent for Catholic News Agency. A graduate of Harvard University, she has reported from news bureaus on three continents and was awarded the Gardner Fellowship for her work with North Korean refugees.