Rosary residents tune in to Mass

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Rosary residents tune in to Mass
L-R: (back) Rosary Gardens Facility Manager Ann Bingham, and acting pastoral carer Moana Muller (front) Georgina Gordon, Norma R

Since March, residents at Rosary Gardens, New Town, (run by Southern Cross Care) have had visiting disrupted by COVID-19 – including chaplains who usually offer a weekly Mass for the Catholics resident there.

Acting pastoral carer Moana Muller took this as an opportunity to replay the previous Sunday’s livestreamed Mass on YouTube, to the residents, and they have been meeting every week since May 5.

Setting up the chapel with candles, sacred music, and a large projector screen, each Tuesday Moana tunes into the replay of 10:30am Mass offered in St Mary’s Cathedral, Hobart, offered by Archbishop Julian.

“It is just beautiful,” said Moana. “With it, you are entering into prayer. It is a very warm and sacred space and there is also the mystical and spiritual dimension,” she said.

The Masses draw between 7-11 people, depending on ability. The livestream recording has allowed residents to experience Mass, complete with sung chants, hymns and cathedral sights that many remember from childhood. 

“Singing along to the Kyrie eleison, it recaptures their childhood faith. Some of them are local and are familiar with the mother church in Hobart, and so it brings them back to their local faith,” said Moana.

In some ways, the livestream has made the mysteries of the faith more present.

“You are focusing more on the Mass, you see the readers, you see the Archbishop consecrating,” she said.

“I had one lady say to me: ‘It’s so beautiful it feels like you are present there at the Mass.’”

The Mass has not only drawn Catholics but non-Catholic residents.

Ann Bingham, Facility Manager, said that the reaction to the initiative “has been really positive”.

“It was a lovely thing and it was a good thing that our residents didn’t have to give up something so important to them,” she said. 

When asked if the team at Rosary Gardens would access livestreamed masses beyond COVID-19, both Ann and Moana were positive.

“To be able to have a priest attend is still going to be important, but we can put in some additional resources and services in the in-between times,” Ann said. 

Masses at the residential care home are expected to resume in August. In the meantime, the new ‘livestream’ community of Rosary Gardens continues to meet, and pray with and for each other.