Catholic Communication Campaign
Support this critical outreach to our home-bound and elderly Catholics by giving to the Catholic Communication Campaign collection at Mass the weekend of May 12-13, or by making a contribution to:
Diocese of Phoenix
400 E. Monroe St.,
Phoenix, AZ 85004
Or call: (602) 354-2479
Every Sunday, thousands of homebound Catholics unable to physically attend church connect with their faith community through the televised Mass. Broadcast live from Ss. Simon and Jude Cathedral at 9 a.m. in English and pre-recorded and aired from St. Mary Parish in Chandler at 10:30 a.m. in Spanish, the weekly Mass brings the Gospel and God’s love to those who can’t leave home due to illness, age or infirmity.
Dcn. Tony Smith, who serves as master of ceremonies during the Mass at Ss. Simon and Jude, said the cathedral receives many calls about the broadcast.
“The TV Mass is hitting so many people — it’s amazing,” Dcn. Smith said. “It is a tremendous asset to be sending out the word of God.”
Some callers ask for Communion to be brought to them.
“It’s just a beautiful time that you can sit down with them. They talk about the reverence of the Mass and being able to engage with the Church again because they cannot get out of their house,” he said.
One woman told him, “I had lost that connection until I found this on TV. Now I’ve got a parish that I can say I technically belong to.”
Not only does the televised Mass reach tens of thousands of households in the Diocese of Phoenix, it also stretches around the globe to at least 100 countries, said Robert DeFrancesco, director of communications for the Diocese of Phoenix. The Mass is also live-streamed on the Diocese of Phoenix’s Facebook and YouTube channels.
“In more countries than not, people are watching the Mass on a weekly basis,” DeFrancesco said. “The Mass from the cathedral in Phoenix is making a difference in the lives of people around the globe.”
Dcn. Smith said a couple who watches the broadcast from their home in New Jersey will be taking up the gifts at an upcoming Mass when they visit Arizona.
The TV Mass is “an important priority for Bishop [Thomas J.] Olmsted,” DeFrancesco said. “He wants to make sure that those people who physically can’t make it to Mass have a chance to hear the Gospel message and are able to maintain their connection with their faith community.”
For those who can’t watch the Mass on television, there is the audio broadcast on 1310 AM Relevant Radio — which airs in markets all across the country.
Fr. Dan McBride, pastor of St. Mary Parish, said parishioners show up early, dress up and participate in the Spanish TV Mass. “They feel like there’s a special connection between them and the people at home,” Fr. McBride said.
He said someone recently told him, “My grandmother can’t go to church anymore. She simply can’t leave the house — she feels like that’s how God enters her house when she watches the Mass.”
Those reports demonstrate the impact of the broadcast beyond the homebound. “It’s like I’m evangelizing the kids by feeding the grandmother,” Fr. McBride said.
Following the Mass from Ss. Simon and Jude Cathedral is “Catholics Matter,” a talk show hosted by Fr. Rob Clements, pastor and director of All Saints Newman Center at Arizona State University in Tempe. The program features interviews with local Catholics on such divergent topics as loneliness, purgatory, stewardship and evangelization. “Cultura y Fe (Culture and Faith)” a Spanish-language program hosted by Cristofer Pereyra, director of the Hispanic Mission Office for the diocese, examines topics like education, health and immigration and follows the broadcast of the Mass from St. Mary’s.
“Catholics Matter” began as an evangelization effort to show how the ordinary Catholic is living out the Gospel in day-to-day living, Fr. Clements said.
“I have met some amazing souls along the way!” said Fr. Clements in a message to The Catholic Sun, noting how he’s had the opportunity to interview the owner of a local air conditioning company that provides free air conditioning to poor families; a Mesa police detective who agonizes over awful situations that she has to deal with on a daily basis but finds God in them; and the recipient of a miracle at Lourdes who has devoted herself to reaching out to people with cancer.
There are “just some amazing souls living out the Lord’s call to be holy in all we do. It’s been an immense privilege to do this on behalf of the Church.”
The TV Mass in English and Spanish isn’t free — it’s supported by generous gifts to the Catholic Communication Campaign collection that takes place the weekend of May 12-13.
Pope Francis zeroed in on the importance of communication at the service of truth in his message on the World Day of Communications, warning against the deceptive practices of “fake news” that “leads only to the spread of arrogance and hatred.” He invited journalists to promote a “journalism of peace” that is “at the service of all, especially those — and they are the majority in our world — who have no voice.”