Catholics united digitally for Holy Week
As soon as the suspension of all non-essential business operations was announced by Vermont Gov. Phil Scott and the closure of churches was announced, the staff at the Roman Catholic Diocese of Burlington began brainstorming about various ways to deliver the Mass and faith engagement opportunities online to keep the Catholic community connected.
“Our communications department and evangelization department quickly put together a plan to live-stream many faith activities, events and retreats that would normally be held in person,” said Ellen Kane, executive director of development and communications. “Everyone scrambled to embrace new technology with a few hiccups in the beginning, but now we have got it down. Our Holy Week live-stream viewers topped 1,000 earlier this week requiring us to upgrade our live-stream plan.”
Faith engagement online activities range from the live-stream of daily Adoration, rosary, daily Mass and Sunday Mass to Burlington Bishop Christopher Coyne’s morning scripture reflections to interactive online bible study, book groups and a series of mental health presentations with tips to remain calm during the pandemic. The weekly schedule of events and additional resources can be found on the diocesan webpage: Spiritual Resources for COVID-19.
In a recent message, Bishop Coyne reminded parishioners, “The Church has remained steadfast for centuries. It is the means by which Christ will remain with us ‘always until the end of the age’ (Mt 28:20). Over the centuries, we have faced invasion, famine and plague. Each time humanity has faced a profound and serious threat, the Church and its people have answered in solidarity with others and with full trust in the Lord. This pandemic will not stop us from proclaiming the Good News, caring for the neediest in our midst and spiritually feeding God’s flock. As in the past, we will persevere in hope. We will get through this together.”
Click links below to join the live-stream of the remaining Holy Week services:
All the church bells will toll at 3 p.m. on Good Friday and joyously peal at 10 a.m. on Easter Sunday. “May the sound remind you that you are not alone and give you hope for the day we will be reunited to celebrate the Eucharist with an abundance of gratitude and joy,” said Bishop Coyne.