13 July 2021
By Iggy Pintado
Like many others, I experienced the challenge that was the COVID lockdown last year. I found that over the years and having been raised in a large Spanish Catholic family, I got used to coming together in groups to strengthen and enhance my faith in regular celebration.
I missed the opportunity to pray and reflect in Church, participate in the liturgy face-to-face at Mass on Sundays and gather with the Parish community at various evening events. Without the opportunity to do this due to self-isolation and social distancing, it challenged me personally to find other ways to stay connected to Jesus Christ.
With the return of the lockdown in Sydney at this time, we are challenged once again with the closure of churches, to stay close to God. It is incumbent on us to find ways to continue to maintain that connection with our faith and the holy Church.
It struck me that we all spend so much time on our ‘screens’ – those personal devices such as our mobile phones and laptops. In this 21st century, there had to be resources online that would enable a virtual spiritual engagement at a time when personal contact wasn’t possible.
So, I did a little research. Using selected keywords in Google, it didn’t take me long to find some relevant resources that I could listen to and watch, in my own time and in my own space.
In the spirit of sharing, here are some of these great online resources across various platforms that have helped me stay connected to the holy Church and to my faith. I hope you find these useful in enhancing and embellishing your own spiritual journeys.
Bishop Anthony Randazzo’s Facebook page – as a proactive and engaging Church leader, Bishop Anthony shares his own thoughts and reflections on his personal Facebook page. His posts contain updates on his community experiences, perspectives on the issues of the day and spiritual reflections on the lives of the saints.
Fr David Ranson YouTube Channel – it’s always interesting for me to hear the pastoral Parish perspective. As an experienced Parish Priest and revered Vicar General of the Diocese, Fr David’s inciteful video messages include his unique homilies and messages of hope for his local parishioners, and for the general community.
The Faith Explained – a regular podcast by Cale Clark that does what the title says. It’s a 30-minute show that reviews the Scriptures, Catechism, and Sacred Traditions and provides an in-depth look at what the Catholic Church believes. It is easily downloadable on the Podbean app. So far, I’ve listened and learnt from episodes that cover The Gospel of St Mark, the Book of Revelations, and the Book of Genesis, while walking or commuting. It’s amazing how much you can reflect on in such a short time!
Mass for You at Home – while there are many options in this space, I found this virtual Mass as the most engaging. Produced by the Diocese of Wollongong on their Mass for You at Home channel on YouTube, it is a solemn presentation of Sunday Mass, delivered with reverence and grace. Recently, our own Fr Chima Ofor celebrated Mass with readings from Diocesan staff. It is broadcast on Channel 10 each Sunday at 6.00am and can also be accessed on 10Play.
Iggy Pintado was recently appointed as Communications Director, Catholic Diocese of Broken Bay. He is an accomplished and experienced leader with significant communications, social media, and online expertise. He lived in the Broken Bay area from 1972 to 1984, attending St Leo’s College with his four brothers. He is a regular parishioner at St Bernadette’s Parish, Castle Hill.