For years, the Archdiocese of Denver has offered a local TV Mass on CPT12 for the homebound. Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, the Mass was made available for viewing on the archdiocese’s YouTube channel, which expanded its reach from a local audience to a global one.
The Mass is prerecorded each week, in both English and Spanish, at the Cathedral Basilica of the Immaculate Conception in Denver. A rotation of local priests celebrate the Mass. From Easter Sunday to June 30, the TV Mass amassed an online view count of nearly 740,000.
Among the countries it has been viewed from since April 12 are the United Kingdom, India, Australia, the Philippines, New Zealand, Colombia, South Africa and Malaysia.
Viewers in different parts of the world have expressed their gratitude to Archbishop Samuel J. Aquila and the archdiocese for broadcasting Mass from the cathedral. One viewer from the United Kingdom shared her thanks in the form of a handwritten letter.
“I was raised Catholic but lapsed, coronavirus has had the effect of making me rethink and reconnect with God,” she wrote. “The United Kingdom is currently on lockdown so I am unable to visit a church, is being able to find your Masses from the Cathedral Basilica of the Immaculate Conception has even wonderful.
“My thanks to you and everyone involved in helping get the Mass out to people.”
Locally, TV Mass viewership has been steadily increasing over the past four years. In 2019, a weekly average of 81,000 viewers tuned into CPT12 to watch the Mass in English, and 61,500 for the Spanish Mass.
While watching Mass on TV or via a livestream on the internet does not fulfill the Sunday Mass obligation, if one has a valid reason to miss Mass, or during this period when a general dispensation from the obligation is in place, it is a great way to keep Sunday holy and maintain a connection to your parish. TV Mass, however, should not be used as a direct substitute for Mass under normal circumstances.
Although Mass is being provided at church once more, there are still places where people do not have access to it, such as at jails, prisons and detention centers. Deacon Hal Goldwire, Director of Jail and Prison Ministry for the archdiocese, has been making efforts to provide the TV Mass to detainees and inmates.
Deacon Goldwire burns the TV Mass to a disc each week and ensures it is delivered to several different facilities. Among the facilities that show the TV Mass are the Camp George West Colorado Correctional Facility in Golden, Denver Women’s Correctional Facility, Jeffco Jail and the GEO ICE Detention Center in Aurora.
“I have zero contact with the prisoners right now, but the staff is greatly appreciative,” Deacon Goldwire said. “I’ve even received handwritten notes from the staff thanking the archdiocese for providing this.”
If any local detention centers are interested in providing the TV Mass, contact Deacon Goldwire at 720-607-7827.
The TV Mass airs every Sunday on CPT12 at 6:30 a.m. in English and 7 a.m. in Spanish. To watch the Mass online, visit the Archdiocese of Denver’s YouTube channel.