Mass gets a modern twist
Bupa Bellarine, Newcomb, Vic.
Residents at Bupa Bellarine expressed a desire for increased interaction with the local Catholic Church, in addition to regular visits from pastoral workers and occasional Church services at the home.
Staff recognised the importance of this request as part of meeting residents’ spiritual needs and staying connected with the community. The local Priest was also was seeking ways to reach parishioners, who had difficulty attending Sunday Mass. Working in collaboration with the Parish, Bupa Bellarine organised for on-line live streaming of Mass from St Marys of the Angels Parish Church in Geelong. http://www.stmarysgeelong.com.au/
The first live streamed mass was celebrated with the Fr Kevin Dillon presiding. Subsequent fortnightly services have been attended by pastoral workers, providing communion to all in attendance. Via the on-line live stream, Fr Dillon welcomes all those at Bupa Bellarine to join the celebration of Mass and receive the sacrament of Holy Communion.
The open invitation for people of all denominations to gather together in shared faith at Bupa Bellarine’s live streamed Masses has been a very successful initiative, supporting resident’s spiritual needs and reinforcing the home’s important connection with the community.
Attendance numbers have exceeded initial expectations and continue to grow.
In particular, staff have observed residents look forward to inviting family and friends to join them to celebrate Mass at the care home. Staff have been pleasantly surprised to see people of other faiths, comfortable to join and celebrate the service. Other care homes are also welcomed to attend and these community numbers are growing.
A survey of stakeholders confirmed all wished for the religious service to continue. Some residents expressed a desire to reconnect with the Church as a result of this service. One lady has now asked her family to take her back to her own Church.
The home and Church are committed to continuing the ‘Online Screening’ of Mass, fortnightly on Sunday afternoon. It has become a permanent fixture in Bupa Bellarine’s Activity Program. Details are shared at resident meetings, and with new residents and families. The valuable community connection continues, with an open invitation for family, friends, staff and residents at nearby care homes to attend.
The organisation of advanced rostering of Pastoral Care workers ensures Communion will continue to be available at each service. Several Bupa Bellarine staff have been trained to use the technology to ensure the ‘online screening’ can always be facilitated.
Panel member’s comments:
Good initiative for providing church services to residents that have limited opportunity to attend mass. This is in the residents interests and can be applied to other activities.
A good simple project where the needs of residents have been met through the use of technology to bring the outside world – in this case church services – into the home. Good project management practice has been utilised with good results.
For more information on this program, contact Online Mass Coordinator, Leisure and Lifestyle Officer, Terri Begg, (03) 5248 1104.