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Mass of the living God from the living room

By Cian Molloy - 18 April, 2020

Thanks to the benefits of modern technology, priests in rural Ireland, are not having to suffer celebrating Mass alone.

Fr Noel Horneck celebrating Mass on Easter Sunday.

In Meath, for example, parish priest Fr Noel Horneck is using ChurchServicesTV to stream live daily Masses over the Internet from his parochial house.

Fr Horneck has three churches in his care at Dunderry, at Robinstown and at Kilbride. All three have two things in common: they are all named ‘Church of the Assumption’ and they are all without access to fixed broadband.

“It is surprising how poorly we are served with broadband considering how close we are to Navan and Trim,” said the parish priest. “We are not really rural, we are close to urban centres. It’s great that the fibre-optic cable passes by where I live and I got broadband into my house just as the schools were closing down.”

All priests celebrate Mass every day and Fr Horneck is delighted that thanks to modern technology he can share his celebration via the Internet.

“I would not like to be celebrating Mass on my own and I have never had to do it in my 45 years as a priest,” he says. “In the past, when I was in town parishes and there would be a day when I was not on the rota then I would go and celebrate Mass in one of the local convents or monasteries.

“Now, though I am social distancing and staying at home, I am still celebrating Mass with members of my parish and with people beyond. I have had friends in Australia message me to say that they were watching me online.”

The RTE News Now television channel is broadcasting Mass at 10.30 a.m., but Fr Horneck says some of his parishioners would rather join his more local service at 9.30 a. m. Monday-to-Friday, at 6 p.m. on Saturday and at 11 a.m. on Sundays. His celebrations can be accessed here.

Incidentally, coverage of the Masses being aired by RTE are provided to the national broadcaster by ChurchServicesTV, the service used by Fr Horneck to broadcast Mass from his home.

ChurchServicesTV CEO Tony Bolger says he is delighted to hear of success stories like Fr Horneck’s. He said: “This, in some way proves that the tiniest parish can be equivalent in its outreach to an established Cathedral or larger parish.”

Just before Easter, the Wicklow-based firm became the preferred provider of broadband broadcasting services to Westminster Cathedral in London.

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