Video operator Mike Paulin looks over the camera feed during a Sept. 15, 2018, Mass at St. Mary Church in Corning. (EMC file photo) Video operator Mike Paulin looks over the camera feed during a Sept. 15, 2018, Mass at St. Mary Church in Corning. (EMC file photo)

Southern Tier churches connect with parishioners amid pandemic

No congregation gathered March 19 for the 9 a.m. Mass celebrated by Father Daniel Ruiz.

Even so, parishioners of St. Anthony, Groton/All Saints, Lansing/Holy Cross, Freeville in northern Tompkins County — where Father Ruiz serves as pastor — were able to participate thanks to livestreaming of the liturgy.

At noon that day, a live webcast of sacred piano music aired from Ithaca’s St. Catherine of Siena Church, courtesy of Sherry Scanza, the parish’s director of liturgical music.

And that evening, at 7 p.m., a livestreaming initiative known as “Prayers in Pajamas” made its debut in the cluster of St. Mary, Honeoye/St. Matthew, Livonia. Jennifer Hughes, faith-formation director, served as host of the event, leading viewers on a prayerful reflection of 1 Peter 3:8-12.

These efforts reflect some of the creative responses of Southern Tier parishes to the suspension of public Masses and other activities, as diocesan Catholics strive to stay connected with their faith and each other during the coronavirus pandemic.

“We are doing all we can to make sure to support your spiritual life and reassure you at every moment that God has not abandoned you and never will,” Father Ruiz wrote in his March 22 bulletin column.

Mass is being offered via livestream in Father Ruiz’ cluster each Monday through Saturday at 9 a.m. The Angelus also is being streamed at noon on those days, along with adoration and Benediction at 8:30 p.m. Sunday Masses are being streamed at 8:30 a.m. from All Saints, at 10 a.m. from Holy Cross and 11:30 a.m. from St. Anthony. All these spiritual opportunities can be accessed by visiting www.netcatholic.org, where an archive of the events also is available. In addition, Father Ruiz noted in his column that anyone who has sacramental needs during this period of enforced separation — or who simply wishes to talk — can contact him at 607-288-2350.

St. Catherine of Siena likewise is offering several daily livestreams to compensate for the suspension of public worship events. Each Monday through Friday, Liturgy of the Word takes place at 9 a.m. and evening prayer is at 9 p.m. At noon the following streams are offered: Monnday, rosary; Tuesday, adoration; Wednesday, Divine Mercy chaplet; Thursday, sacred music; and Friday, Stations of the Cross. The 5 p.m. Saturday Mass also is available online. All of these livestreams can all be accessed at https://boxcast.tv/channel/izrxkp femabzytva9yuk.

Meanwhile, at St. Mary/St. Matthew, Prayers in Pajamas is uniting families and individuals in prayer even as they practice social-distancing in an effort to curb the virus’ spread. Hughes said Prayers in Pajamas will be streamed at www.facebook.com/StMaryStMatthewFaithFormation every Thursday at 7 p.m., with additional days possibly being added if people wish.

Elsewhere in the Southern Tier, All Saints Parish in Corning is continuing the weekly practice of livestreaming its 11:30 Sunday Mass. That liturgy, along with other All Saints events, can be accessed at https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCi_j1W0o1m0kRwVTePMS2rQ. In addition, the parish’s 5 p.m. Saturday Mass is broadcast the following day at 11 a.m. on the local WETM-2 television station and on Spectrum 11, Empire Access Channel 97 and Blue Ridge Cable Channel 8.

In the Schuyler Catholic Community, Father Steve Lape, pastor, is video recording his weekly Sunday Masses and posting the video at https://www.stmarystben.org. And, at Our Lady of the Valley Parish (St. Ann, Hornell/St. Mary, Rexville), videos of Masses are being made available at https://olv14843.org and www.facebook.com/Our-Lady-of-the-Valley-Parish-Hornell-146965178692206.

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