Public church services are suspended during the lockdown period up to and including 6 December. However, the Catholic Church in Austria is once again increasing its offer of church services via television, radio and social media. In addition, there are many other online activities with which the church wants to fulfill its pastoral duties under difficult conditions.
On the web page of the archdiocese Vienna (www.erzdioezese-wien.at) there is a live stream of the Holy Mass from Monday to Saturday at 12 o’clock, presided over by the cathedral pastor Toni Faber. The service wil start on Wednesday, November 18. On Sundays (November 22 and 29 as well as December 6), a youth service from the parish church of St. Johann Nepomuk (Vienna-Leopoldstadt) with pastor Konstantin Spiegelfeld will be broadcast. The weekday services from St. Stephen’s Cathedral will also be transmitted by radio klassik Stephansdom.
From Wednesday, November 18, there will be live streamed masses with the Styrian Bishop Wilhelm Krautwaschl. These will take place daily at 5 pm for the time being and can be seen on the website of the diocese of Graz-Seckau (www.katholische-kirche-steiermark.at), on the diocese’s Facebook page and on the website of the Kleine Zeitung (www.kleinezeitung.at). An Advent wreath blessing with Bishop Krautwaschl is planned for Saturday, November 28, at 5 p.m. The bishop will celebrate the (Rorate) Mass daily at 6:30 a.m. One can mail prayer requests to email@example.com. Bishop Krautwaschl will consider these requests.
Help for prayer in the family circle and an overview of church service broadcasts via radio, television and online platforms is also available on the website “Church Service Network” (www.netzwerk-gottesdienst.at).
Church counseling and discussion facilities are particularly in demand during this period. The pastoral care by telephone, which can be reached daily around the clock under the number 142 or online, the “Gesprächsinsel” on the Viennese Freyung, or the marriage and family counseling centers, or the St. Elisabeth Foundation for pregnant women and families in emergency situations are in unrestricted use, it was said on Tuesday in a broadcast of the Archdiocese of Vienna. Information about these and other services is available on the website “Offenes Ohr”. (https://www.erzdioezese-wien.at/unit/offenesohr). The “Quo Vadis” meeting center (http://www.quovadis.or.at/) also offers numerous online services.
The Young Church Vienna, the Catholic Youth and the Catholic Youth offer different kinds of meetings and youth services online. To the forthcoming Nikolausfest, as also already regarding the carol singing action after Christmas, one works on alternative possibilities. The individual offers are on www.jungekirche.wien, www.katholische-jugend.at/wien/ or https://wien.jungschar.at/home/ as well as on the appropriate Social Media accounts.
— hector pascua with reports from kathpress.at. Picture: pixabay.com
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