Catholics in Dominica who use to “attend” Mass on social media due to restrictions in place because of COVID-19, will no longer able to do so as Bishop Gabriel Malzaire has put an end to live streaming of religious services.
Saying that many have become comfortable with the practice, he added now is the time to get the faithful back in church and in the pews.
In a statement to all clergy on the island, Malzaire said restrictions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic forced the church to find different ways to reach out to the faithful.
“Consequently, we have offered the Celebrations virtually, via the various media platforms,” he said.
However, he stated this has served its purpose.
“Now we need to use whatever means possible to encourage our parishioners to return to ‘in person’ participation at all our Religious celebrations,” he said in the statement. “It is with this in mind, that I ask that the providing of all virtual masses be discontinued. It is clear that some have become very comfortable ‘attending’ mass via social media at home. We need to get them back in the pews.”
Malzaire added that special events can be broadcasted as deemed necessary by different parishes, but the broadcast of the regular Sunday masses should be discontinued.
“It is our moral responsibility to encourage ‘in person’ attendance especially at Sunday Eucharist where the Faithful are invited to ‘full, active and conscious participation’, where they experience true fellowship, and where the true meaning of the Eucharist is expressed and experienced,” Malzaire said.
Malzaire was recently installed the Metropolitan Archbishop of Castries, St. Lucia but remains Apostolic Administrator of the Diocese of Roseau where he served as bishop for 19 years.
He will give up the post of Administrator when a new Bishop is named and installed in Roseau.