A fortnight ago I had never heard of ZOOM, but now each evening at 10.00pm I join a “meeting” and share the final prayer of the day with my fraternity of priests. It has been a quick learning experience, each of us struggling at mastering the technology, then definitely benefitting from the half hour spent together, sharing the highs and lows of our different experiences of ministry while also being united in prayer. As we have developed our skills each one has used a photo taken inside our different churches as a ‘backdrop’. The effect is magic! It looks like all of us are still at work at 10.30pm! The view of the familiar places of prayer is also offered each day by webcam. Streaming the Mass each morning from St Therese’s, Mount Merrion affords parishioners, family and friends the opportunity to watch and participate in a celebration where the environment is familiar, the priest local and intentions specific to our parish. There is also the national Mass on RTE Now and of course various celebrations coming from the USA on EWTN. The parish also has a Facebook page. On this page, it is possible to post information, videos and pictures relating to parish life with the added advantage that people can offer a comment, affirmation, prayer or observation. I posted a little video, praying in the Millennium Garden beside the church which was well received and is a model of how our sharing in prayer continues. Others from parish groups could also try it out. You could make a little video, less than a minute and maybe it would be shared in this way.
A number of notable sports men and women contributed to a public service message during the week. Each of them speaking a line of a single message which reinforced the reasons why we need to “Stay at home”. It was nice to see them without their “gear” on, all sitting in some part of their own home, speaking to us all. The little hashtag that followed the message was #unitebystayingapart.
Here in our parish we are trying to do just that, to feel we are together even though we can’t gather. This will be very important for Holy Week and Easter and I encourage you to tune into the live stream, look at the Facebook page and keep praying with and for each other.