Diocesan News

Televised Devotionals Reach Out and Teach

Father Christopher Heanue says he hopes the daily devotional prayers he leads that are broadcast each weekday on NET-TV will help people “grow in holiness.” (Photo: Screenshot/NET-TV)

‘It Makes Me Feel Like I’m Back in Church’

PROSPECT HEIGHTS — Rose Bedosky, a parishioner of the Church of St. Mel in Flushing, faithfully watches the morning Mass broadcast from the Co-Cathedral of St. Joseph Monday through Friday on NET-TV. But she doesn’t change the channel when the Mass is over. 

Bedowsky continues to tune in because she doesn’t want to miss what comes next.

Immediately following the 8 a.m. Mass, Father Christopher Heanue, the co-cathedral rector, leads a devotional prayer — a different prayer each day. 

On Mondays, it’s the Miraculous Medal novena. The Divine Mercy chaplet is recited on Tuesdays. The Litany to St. Joseph is sung on Wednesdays. On Thursdays, it’s the Prayer for Vocations. Every Friday, there is a period of Eucharistic adoration.

“It makes me feel like I’m back in church,” said Bedowsky, who relies on a walker to get around and hasn’t been able to get to Mass at St. Mel’s in recent months.

Her favorite day of the week is Monday because of her love for the Miraculous Medal novena is recited. “I’m very devoted to the Blessed Mother,” said Bedowsky, who taught faith formation classes at St. Mel’s for many years. She used to recite the prayers in her church after Mass. “I didn’t say them for a while, and then I forgot the words. When I saw it on TV, it all came back to me.”

The post-Mass devotional prayers, which began on NET-TV on Oct. 18, are a way to give Catholics watching at home the sense of parish participation, Father Heanue said.

“For many people who watch the Mass on television, the NET becomes their parish. In a normal parish after daily Mass, you usually have a group of parishioners that will stay in church and pray either the rosary together, or another devotional prayer. What I wanted to do was allow people watching us on the NET to stay and join us in those prayers,” he said.

It’s part of the Diocese of Brooklyn’s effort to use television as a tool for evangelization, he said. 

It also helps Catholics learn more about their religion, he said. “And they’ll get to know the prayers if they don’t know them already,” he said. “My idea and my hope is that the people who watch NET-TV will participate and we’ll all grow in holiness.”

The Monday-Thursday devotionals are taped. The Friday Eucharistic adoration is broadcast live.

Ramon Lima, a retired deacon from Little Neck, is also a devoted viewer. He and his wife Digna never miss the morning Mass and are particularly fond of the devotionals.

“We say the prayers together. They have added a whole new dimension to our spiritual life. And it has brought my wife and I closer together,” said Lima, whose last parish assignment was at St. Raphael Church in Long Island City.

NET-TV is available on Spectrum 97, Cablevision 30, Verizon FiOS 48, and is live online at netny.tv.