Features, Headlines

The Digital Parish

The Digital Parish is a series of supports offered on Facebook and Twitter for those reaching out online in the context of faith. This resource accompanies a book entitled The Digital Parish which will be published by Veritas in Spring 2021 and is also complemented by the monthly ‘Get Connected’ column in Intercom magazine.

A new series from The Digital Parish sees case studies being shared on how the digital parish/digital Church has emerged, particularly during the coronavirus pandemic. The series looks at how bishops, priests, religious, and lay people are putting out into the deep of the net during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Each participant was asked the same five questions on how they are coping with lockdown and how they are reaching out as the digital parish/Church at this time:  

Q1. How are you coping day to day with lockdown/social distancing?
Q2. What do you miss most?
Q3. How are you reaching out online as a priest/parish/individual? Will you continue this post-Coivid 19?
Q4. What’s the first thing you will do after lockdown/social distancing is eased?
Q5. What’s your message to those in need of hope and encouragement at this time?

Here are some of the responses we have received. For more see The Digital Parish Page on Facebook

Father Tom Cox, Administrator in Shannonbridge Parish, Diocese of Ardagh and Conmacnois

Father Tom Cox is Administrator in the Parish of Shannonbridge (Clonmacnois) in the Diocese of Ardagh and Clonmacnois. He is pictured recently as he set off on a “pedal parish pilgrimage” around Clonfanlough, Clongowney, Glebe, Clonlyon. 

Click here to read his response to our five questions. 

Father Michael Toomey, St Peter and Paul’s Parish, Clonmel, Co Tipperary

Father Michael Toomey, is a priest in Ss Peter & Paul’s parish in Clonmel, Co Tipperary, in the Diocese of Waterford and Lismore. He is reaching out online with daily Mass this past few weeks. He also broadcast a special Mass for the children who were due to make their Confirmation this side of the Summer and he is planning a similar Mass for the First Communion children. 

Click here to read his response to our five questions. 

Father Paddy McCafferty, PP, Corpus Christi Parish, Belfast in the Diocese of Down and Connor

Father Paddy McCafferty is Parish Priest of Corpus Christi Parish, Belfast.in the Diocese of Down and Connor. While he is reaching out online he is finding funerals to be extremely difficult because the normal rites are suspended and because of social distancing people cannot comfort one another in the usual way.

Click here to read his responses to our five questions. 

Mary Ann Papp, Facilitator of Student Retreats in the Emmaus Centre in Swords in Co Dublin

Mary Ann Papp is a wife, mother and lay minister residing in County Dublin for more than eight years, but originally from New Jersey, USA. She works as a Facilitator of Student Retreats at the Emmaus Centre in Swords. Mary Ann shares how losing her brother in the 9/11 tragedy has helped her to develop coping skills and to reach out to others during this time of uncertainty and hopelessness. 

Click here to read her responses to our five questions. 

Mary Dee, Diocese of Waterford and Lismore

Mary Dee works with the Diocese of Waterford and Lismore. While Mary says she misses company, she is finding the live streaming of Mass to be really comforting.

Click here to read her responses to our five questions. 

Fater Tom Hayes, PP, Enniskeane Parish, Diocese of Cork and Ross 

Father Tom Hayes is Parish Priest of Enniskeane in Co Cork in the Diocese of Cork and Ross. Father Tom misses the regular weekday congregation most because he knows them all personally and almost all are volunteers in so many aspects of parish life. They are also the ‘praying core’ of the parish.

Click here to read his responses to our five questions. 

Father John Kenny, PP, Partry, Archdiocese of Tuam 

Father John Kenny is Parish Priest in Partry in the Archdiocese of Tuam. Father John has been reaching out online each day on Facebook with a link in with parishioners and some reflection. Father John is missing his congregation and also missing the beauty of the outdoor way of life in the beautiful West of Ireland. 

Click here to read his responses to our five questions. 

Julie Kavanagh, Diocese of Kildare and Leighlin 

Julie Kavanagh is a member of the Faith Development Services team in the Diocese of Kildare and Leighlin. She shares with us how she is coping with lockdown and how the first thing she will do afterwards is hug her mum. 

Click here to read her responses to our five questions. 

Father Oliver Crilly, Diocese of Derry 

Father Oliver Crilly has been a parish priest in Derry Diocese in the parishes of Melmount, Ardmore and Greenlough and he is currently based in Castlefinn. A former Director of Veritas, Father Crilly speaks from a wide-ranging experience as a teacher, a publisher and editor, and as a curate and parish priest during the Troubles in Northern Ireland. He speaks about making plans to do things he has been putting on the long finger and the importance of never long our sense of gathering as Church. 

Click here to read his responses to our five questions. 

Sister Lucy Conway, Redemptoiristine Sisters, Dublin 

Sister Lucy Conway is a Redemptoristine Sister based in Dublin. She tells us that while social distancing is nothing new to her as a member of an enclosed order she is missing the warmth of hugs and greetings shared in the community.

Click here to read her response to our five questions.  

Aidan Chester, Director of Veritas 

Aidan Chester is Director of Veritas. His message of hope will certainly make you think about how we related to people we met on the street before Covid-19.

Click here to read his response to our five questions. 

Bishop Fintan Monahan, Bishop of Killaloe

Bishop Fintan Monahan is Bishop of Killaloe. He shares with us how he misses being in contact with people and his regret that the Confirmation and First Communion Ceremonies will not go ahead this side of the Summer. He also talks about the importance of being present with people online at this time. 

Click here to read his responses to our five questions. 

Father Charlie McDonnell, Westport Parish 

Father Charlie McDonnell is Administrator of Westport Parish in the Archdiocese of Tuam. He has been streaming Mass daily since the restrictions were put in place as a result of Covid-19. He tells us how he has been reaching out online and keeping the Church open during the day with strict social distancing in place.

Click here to read his response to our questions. 



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