Although churches in the Diocese of Baton Rouge have opened their doors, albeit with capacity restrictions, many throughout the country remain shuttered, leaving people to view Mass either via livestreaming, or through other means, such as Catholic Life TV in our diocese.

In the Diocese of Brooklyn, New York, enriched with a tremendous cultural diversity, the closings posed an especially imposing dilemma, mainly how to reach people of varying ethnicities. Previously, the diocesan cable channel NET-TV broadcast Sunday Masses in English and Spanish but the need was so much greater.

So the diocese dipped into its creative resources to identify the remedy.

For Easter Sunday, NET-TV broadcast Mass in seven different languages, celebrated at the Co-Cathedral of St. Joseph in the Prospect Heights area of Brooklyn, not far from Flatbush Avenue.

The Mass was broadcast in Italian, Creole, Polish, English, Spanish, Korean and Mandarin Chinese.

At the time, diocesan officials said “with the challenges presented by the coronavirus pandemic, forcing our churches to be closed this Easter, the Diocese of Brooklyn has embraced the challenge to keep us all connected during these Holy Days.”

Today, NET-TV continues to broadcast Sunday Masses but instead of seven, now eight languages, from the combined parishes of Co-Cathedral of St. Joseph and St. Teresa of Avila. The parishes merged in November 2018.

“We have a great blessing in technology that allows the Mass, the Eucharist, to be very present to us, and spiritually, we recognize that we’re in communion with one another even though physically we are not able to receive holy Communion,” said Msgr. Kieran Harrington, Vicar for Communications for the diocese. “While we have to social distance, God is very near to us.”

Father Michel Pierre Louis, who celebrates the Mass in Creole, said the “same God yesterday is the same God today.”

Evan Bellouny, a member of the production team of DeSales Media Group, the parent company of NET-TV, admitted production has been a bit tight but “we’re getting the hang of it.”

The Sunday Masses are broadcast on the hour beginning at 8 a.m. with the Korean Mass, with a Mass celebrated in Lgbo wrapping up the day at 4 p.m. The Lgbo people are native to Nigeria and also Equatorial Guinea, another example of the rich diversity of the diocese.

Sunday Masses are also broadcast in Creole, Italian, English, Polish, Spanish and Mandarin.