Live streamed Masses keep central Illinois family of faith connected

St. Matthew Church in Champaign is one of several churches around the Diocese of Peoria that has arranged to live stream Masses while public liturgical celebrations in central Illinois are suspended in an effort to prevent possible transmission of the COVID-19 coronavirus. (The Catholic Post file photo/Jennifer Willems)

Public celebrations of the Mass may be suspended for the foreseeable future, but parishes across the Diocese of Peoria, as well as St. Bede Abbey in Peru, are making it possible for people to stay connected to their family of faith in central Illinois and beyond by following the example of Venerable Archbishop Fulton Sheen.

Using the technology available to them, they are live streaming Masses on Facebook, YouTube and other platforms. While some, like St. Bede and St. Joseph in Pekin have been doing this for some time, others are rising to the challenges posed by the COVID-19 coronavirus.

“In the spirit of Fulton Sheen, let’s use the tools of the modern age to connect with heaven and each other.” — Msgr. Stanley Deptula

St. Matthew in Champaign, for example, began with the 5:15 p.m. Mass celebrated by Msgr. Stanley Deptula, pastor, on Saturday, March 14. Another Mass took place at 9:30 a.m. on Sunday, March 15, with Father Lee Brokaw, parochial vicar, as the celebrant. Msgr. Deptula was the homilist at both liturgies.

St. Matthew also streamed a Eucharistic Holy Hour for Healing on March 15.

These can all be found by visiting St. Matthew Catholic Church on Facebook or the parish’s new YouTube channel, St. Matthew Outreach.

“In the spirit of Fulton Sheen, let’s use the tools of the modern age to connect with heaven and each other,” Msgr. Deptula said in a Facebook post March 14.

MORE OPPORTUNITIES

Mass from St. Bede may be viewed at 10 a.m. on Sunday mornings by visiting Saint Bede Abbey on Facebook. Starting Monday, March 16, Mass will also be live streamed Monday through Saturday at 7:45 a.m.

St. Joseph in Pekin streams its 5 p.m. Mass on Saturdays through StreamSpot at stjosephpekin.org. Daily Mass is also available this way on Monday at 6 p.m.; Tuesday through Friday at 7 a.m.; and First Saturdays at 8 a.m.

Other opportunities made known to The Catholic Post include:

  • BLOOMINGTON: Masses celebrated by Father Geoff Horton and Father Jeffrey Stirniman will be live streamed at 10 a.m. and noon on Sunday, March 22, and at 10:30 a.m. from March 23 to 28. They may be viewed at HT-HSP Display on YouTube. The tabernacle is also being live streamed there. The priests serve Holy Trinity and Historic St. Patrick in Bloomington and St. Patrick in Wapella.
  • BLOOMINGTON, DOWNS: Father Dustin Schultz, pastor of St. Patrick Church of Merna, Bloomington, and St. Mary, Downs, is offering Masses at 9 a.m. on Sunday, at noon Monday through Friday, and at 4 p.m. on Saturday. Visit St. Patrick Church of Merna on Facebook.
  • CANTON: Father Daniel Ebker, pastor of St. Mary, Canton, and St. Matthew, Farmington, celebrates Mass via Facebook Live every day at 11 a.m. Visit Fulton County Catholics.
  • CHAMPAIGN: St. Matthew Church has established a YouTube channel, St. Matthew Outreach, where Masses are live streamed at 7 a.m. during the week, at 5:15 p.m. on Saturday, and at 9:30 a.m. on Sunday. There is also a Holy Hour at 3 p.m. on Sunday.
  • CHAMPAIGN: A Mass will be live streamed on Sunday, March 22, at 10:30 a.m. from St. John’s Catholic Newman Center. It can be found on the Newman Center’s YouTube channel.
  • CHILLICOTHE: Father Matthew Deptula, pastor, is live streaming Masses from St. Edward Church at 10:30 a.m. on Sunday and 7:30 a.m. daily. They may be viewed on Facebook at St. Edward Church and Parish — Chillicothe, Illinois..
  • COLONA: Father Peter Zorjan, pastor of St. Patrick in Colona and Our Lady of Guadalupe in Silvis, will celebrate Mass via Facebook Live at 10:30 a.m. every Sunday until public celebrations of the Mass are allowed to resume.
  • DANVILLE: Live streamed Masses, celebrated by Father Bowan Schmitt, pastor of St. Paul Church, are available at 10:30 a.m. on Sunday, at 7:15 a.m. Tuesday through Friday, and at 8 a.m. on Saturday at stpauldanville.org. In addition, the rosary and Divine Mercy Chaplet may be viewed at 11 a.m. Tuesday through Friday, and Stations of the Cross are available at 7 p.m. on Friday.
  • EARLVILLE: Masses are being live streamed from St. Theresa Church at 8 a.m. each day. To find them, go to St. Theresa’s Catholic Church on Facebook.
  • GALESBURG: Father Jacob Rose, parochial vicar of parishes in the Galesburg community, will celebrate an explanatory Mass at 10 a.m. on Sunday, March 22. To view it, look for Galesburg Catholic on Facebook. It will be posted to YouTube later.
  • GERMANTOWN HILLS: The rosary is live streamed at 9:30 a.m. on Sunday followed by Mass at 10 a.m. from St. Mary of Lourdes Church. A daily rosary and Mass are available at noon. Look for St. Mary of Lourdes Catholic Church on Facebook, St. Mary of Lourdes, Germantown Hills on YouTube, or the parish website, stmarylourdes.org.
  • HANCOCK COUNTY: Father Thomas Szydlik and Father Tony Trosley are live streaming Masses at 10 a.m. on Sunday, at 8 a.m. on weekdays, and at 4 p.m. on Saturday at Hancock County Catholic Churches on Facebook. The priests serve Immaculate Conception in Carthage, Sacred Heart in Dallas City, St. Mary in Hamilton, Sts. Peter and Paul in Nauvoo, and Sacred Heart in Warsaw.
  • KICKAPOO: Father Joseph Dondanville will offer live streamed Masses at 10:30 a.m. on Sunday and 8 a.m. Monday through Friday at St. Mary’s Catholic Church, Kickapoo on Facebook and YouTube.
  • LASALLE: Masses are live streamed from the rectory chapel on Sunday at 10 a.m. in English and at noon in Spanish at LaSalle Catholic Parishes on Facebook. Daily Mass is at 8 a.m. In addition, the rosary is prayed each day at 3 p.m. All are made available as recordings on the Facebook page for viewing later.
  • MOLINE: A Mass from Christ the King Church will be offered at 9:30 a.m. on Sunday, March 22, via Facebook Live. Find it by visiting Christ the King Catholic Church on Facebook. Parishioners were encouraged to send in photos of themselves and their families that could be put in the pews as Father Donald Levitt, pastor, and Father Eric Kpotor, parochial vicar, celebrate Mass.
  • MORTON: Father Jerry Ward, pastor, will celebrate Mass on Sunday, March 22, at 10 a.m., which may be viewed on the parish’s Facebook page, Blessed Sacrament Catholic Church — Morton, Illinois. A rosary at 3 p.m. Sunday and 6 p.m. during the week can also be found here.
  • PEORIA: Mass will be live streamed at 9 a.m. on Sunday, March 22, from the St. Jude Convent Chapel. Visit stjudechurchpeoria.org and click on the link under “Live Streaming Mass” or look for St. Jude Catholic Church, Peoria, IL on YouTube.
  • PEORIA: Father David Richardson, pastor  of St. Philomena Church, is live streaming Masses at 8 a.m. seven days at week. They may be viewed on Facebook at facebook.com/St. Philomena Church or visit the parish’s website at stphils.com.
  • ROCK ISLAND: Mass is live streamed at 9:45 a.m. on Sunday and 12:10 p.m. on all other days from Sacred Heart Church in Rock Island. The celebrant is Father Luke Spannagel, pastor. Visit them on Facebook at Sacred Heart Catholic Church — Rock Island, IL.
  • SPRING VALLEY: The Parish of the Nativity of Our Lord will live stream Mass on Sunday, March 22, at 11:15 a.m. and March 23-26 at 7 a.m., with Father Scott Potthoff, pastor, as celebrant. Visit the parish’s Facebook page, Parish of the Nativity of Our Lord.
  • URBANA: Father Anthony Co, pastor of St. Patrick Church, has posted a Mass for the Fourth Sunday of Lent to his YouTube channel, Co To-Go.
  • WYOMING: A Mass celebrated by Father John Cyr, pastor of St. Dominic in Wyoming and St. John the Baptist in Bradford, is planned for 9:30 a.m. on Sunday, March 22, and may be viewed by looking for Stark County Catholic on Facebook.
  • SPANISH MASS: See the listing for LaSalle Catholic Parishes.
  • OFFICE OF PRIESTLY VOCATIONS: Father Timothy Hepner, diocesan vocation director of recruitment, will celebrate Mass via Facebook Live on Sunday, March 22, at 5 p.m. from St. Mary in Bloomington. It may be viewed at Follow Me — Catholic Diocese of Peoria, Office of Priestly Vocations.

All of these will be available for viewing again at the sites listed after the Masses have been celebrated.

DOING WHAT WE DO BEST

Live streaming Masses may not be perfect, “but it may be the best we have for a little while,” said Chris Kreps, director of parish administrative services at St. Matthew, who has been working with the technology that will make it possible.

He told The Catholic Post that Msgr. Deptula is determined that the parish staff do its best to get the Gospel out to as many people as they can for as long as they can.

It’s true that Mass is broadcast on a regular basis through national channels, such as EWTN and CatholicTV, but parish Masses streamed via Facebook Live allow people to see and hear their own priests, Kreps said, noting it’s also free, quick and easy to use.

This is the time for the faithful to do what they do best and that’s pray, according to Msgr. Deptula.

“Stay close to your family and friends,” he wrote on Facebook. “Pray together over the phone. Support each other using social media. Hold on to your Rosary beads. Open your Bibles. Participate in Mass remotely and make a Spiritual Communion. Hunger and thirst for the next time that you can receive the Holy Eucharist.”

He encouraged people to pray especially for the sick and those in danger of death, as well as doctors and scientists. He also asked people to pray for the hungry, homeless and those who are afraid.

“Know that your priests are praying for you,” Msgr. Deptula assured his parishioners, adding that it wouldn’t feel the same to celebrate Mass without them.

“We love you and we miss you,” he said.

For other opportunities to attend Mass online or to learn how to make a Spiritual Communion, visit the website of the Diocese of Peoria, cdop.org, and click on the link for “Updates and Ministry Resources Regarding Coronavirus (COVID-19).

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