Gloria and Ralph Magaña, parishioners at St. Andrew the Apostle in Chandler, are homebound due to infirmity but still feel connected to their church and the Diocese of Phoenix thanks to the weekly broadcast of the Mass from Ss. Simon and Jude Cathedral.
Catholic Communication Campaign
The Catholic Communication Campaign is a second collection scheduled for Masses May 18-19. Because of your generosity, we are able to bring Christ to the homebound, ill, or hospitalized, through the broadcast of the Sunday Mass.
The Magañas are just two of the many thousands of people the Mass reaches each week through television, YouTube and Facebook. The evangelization effort is funded by the Catholic Communication Campaign, a second collection that takes place in the diocese the weekend of May 18-19. Most parishes throughout the country will hold the collection June 1-2.
Rob DeFrancesco, director of communications for the Diocese of Phoenix, pointed to the broadcast as one way the local Church reaches the homebound, the hospitalized, infirm and elderly with the Word of God.
“We hear from adult children of parents who really value being able to watch the TV Mass,” DeFrancesco said. The adult children are frequently in their 50s and 60s and are often their parents’ caregivers, he said. “It means a lot to them because their parents can’t get to Mass anymore.”
The weekly televised and streamed Mass is “a critical connection for them and that’s why Bishop [Thomas J.] Olmsted is such a supporter” of the effort, DeFrancesco said. The televised Mass in English reaches 40,000 homes weekly and thousands more through the Internet.
The campaign also supports a Spanish Mass broadcast through Catholic Media Ministry on Channel 41 from St. Mary’s Parish in Chandler.
“We also simulcast on YouTube and Facebook live,” DeFrancesco said. “Certainly on Sunday mornings on TV, the biggest advantage, our biggest audience is those who are homebound or ill or hospitalized, but what we are doing through Internet is really exciting in terms of evangelization.”
The Mass isn’t just reaching the faithful in the Diocese of Phoenix, however. “We’re reaching people throughout the world, in over 100 countries.”
Pam Lambros, director of stewardship and communications at Ss. Simon and Jude Cathedral, provided The Catholic Sun with numerous emails her office has received over the years from people around the Phoenix Diocese and around the country expressing their gratitude for being able to watch the Mass on YouTube.
One woman from Austin, Texas, offered her thanks: “I have been truly comforted by Fr. John Lankeit’s great homilies. He is a true shepherd. I wish we would hear more of these truths at our Church,” the woman wrote. May God watch over him and may he continue to lead his flock with the light of Christ and may he know he is leading many others also by his homilies on You Tube.”
The Magañas offered similar sentiments. Ralph is an amputee on dialysis, and his wife Gloria suffers from sciatica and hip pain. She can’t manage lifting and pushing Ralph’s wheelchair, so the two make the weekly TV Mass a top priority.
“It’s the best thing they ever did,” Gloria said. “It’s a blessing for everybody who watches it — it’s a blessing from God for us to be able to see it.”
Marguerite Munkachy has multiple sclerosis and is paralyzed from the neck down. She’s also a big fan of the weekly TV Mass. “I’m delighted because I am bedridden and it’s very difficult for me to be able get out,” Munkachy said. “Thank goodness there’s Mass on TV so that people in my situation can have Mass.”
Pope Francis spoke to the role love plays in spreading the Gospel and hope in Christ in his 2019 World Communications Day message. “God is not Solitude, but Communion; he is Love, and therefore communication, because love always communicates; indeed, it communicates itself in order to encounter the other,” the pope wrote.