DIVINE intervention played a part in the first ever live streaming of mass from St Patrick’s Church in Bandon last Sunday, as despite having no wi-fi, it miraculously worked.
The decision to live stream mass was taken due to the treacherous conditions which made it unsafe to travel. Bishop John Buckley had also removed the obligation for people to attend mass on Saturday.
Esther Sinnott, who filmed the mass, said: ‘We never tried anything like this before but we recognise the importance of connecting with our parishioners, especially in a week that saw many of us housebound.
‘Pope Francis uses social media in a very positive way to connect and we simply mirrored that.
‘We used Facebook Live and with no wi-fi in the church we really were on a wing and a prayer.’
Conscious of the fact that some parishioners would be missing mass for the first time, and that many had become isolated due to the inclement weather, a suggestion was made to live stream noon mass to parishioners via their parish Facebook page and both Canon John Kingston and Fr John O’Donovan of Bandon Parish agreed.
‘A request went out through social media asking people to assist elderly family members and neighbours to tune into our mass.
‘We never dreamed that live streaming it would connect with so many people and we were humbled by the many positive comments and appreciation which we received.’
Over 3,400 people tuned in, inlcuding viewers from Sweden, USA and the UK.
‘Without the use of a fancy web system we put our trust in a mobile phone, a selfie stick, and a tripod from a child’s telescope, to stream the Mass,’ added Esther.
‘A prayer was said that it would work and thankfully our prayer was answered.’