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Townsville priests rally to bring message of hope to community

Zooming ahead: Priests of Townsville diocese join Bishop Tim Harris (centre) for a meeting to discuss how to reach out to the faith communities in the region.

“WE must continue to minister to our communities through these difficult times,” Townsville Bishop Tim Harris told diocese priests via a Zoom meeting.

“Over Easter more than 1000 people watched many of the Easter Triduum celebrations with many viewing daily Masses from the Sacred Heart Cathedral,” he said.

Coronavirus restrictions had barred faithful from churches, but parishes continued to offer Masses live streamed over Facebook and connected to hundreds of people each day.

Holy Spirit in Cranbrook and Ingham District Catholic Churches had been regular streaming services throughout the lockdown.

Fr Damian McGrath from Ingham was also offering live streaming for funerals that were being conducted at St Patrick’s Church in Ingham

Fr Dave Lancini from the Good Shepherd Parish in Kirwan had released regular short videos with reflections as a way of staying in touch.

These videos had reached tens of thousands of people.

The first video was shared more than 200 times and reached more than 25,000 people.

“We were getting people asking where they could see the videos so we created our own parish YouTube channel to allow others to also hear these messages of hope during these times of isolation” Fr Lancini said.

Hope was a consistent message across the diocese in the trying times.

Last week, Townsville diocese’s priests from Mount Isa to Townsville, Proserpine to Ingham recorded a short video that was shared on the diocesan social media channels.

“The message to the community was that we are all in this together and although our Churches are closed, our hearts must remain open and continue to reach out to others in our community,” Bishop Harris said.

“If we continue to stick to the advice of the government, we will be able to ride this virus out and our communities can get back to normal.“Our thoughts are also with those who have been affected by the virus and also those who have lost their lives.”

Daily Mass is streamed vis the Diocesan Facebook page and the Sacred Heart Cathedral YouTube channel.

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