Thousands view live-streamed Masses

BRIDGEPORT—Thousands of people across the diocese went online during Holy Week to view the live-streamed Masses and liturgies celebrated by Bishop Frank J. Caggiano at St. Augustine Cathedral in Bridgeport.

During the pandemic crisis, diocesan social media and website have been a major lifeline to Catholics throughout Fairfield County who were unable to attend public Masses, which were suspended in the interest of the health and safety of the faithful.

An estimated 50,000 faithful tuned in at some point for the live-streamed Holy Week Masses, and 215,157 minutes viewed on Facebook from Holy Thursday through Easter Sunday. Likewise, there were 91,331 views on the diocesan website during the same time.

In addition to being live-streamed, the liturgies were also available on the diocesan website ( to be viewed at any time.

John Grosso, director of digital media for the diocese, said that social media analytics can be complicated when you try to break down the number of clicks and viewers, but the response to diocesan content over the past few weeks has set records for what was already a very active and far-reaching social media presence.

Grosso said that some viewers watched the Masses in their entirety, while others visited to hear Bishop Caggiano’s homilies or to view the Consecration and the Eucharist. The total number of people reached on social media was 176,180.

“It’s clear that our social media and website helped to unify the diocese during a time of crisis. People wanted to hear from the bishop and be connected to the Blessed Sacrament. We reached literally tens of thousands of people in a meaningful way, and hundreds of thousands joined us briefly.”

Grosso said while record-breaking numbers visited the website and view diocesan social media, it’s far from an overnight success. The significant reach and capability has been developed over the past five years with the introduction of social media through a generous grant from a donor to the Annual Catholic Appeal and to the steady work managing the social media accounts.

Catholics throughout the diocese can find information of Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Flickr.

Bishop Caggiano said he was grateful that so many people went online during Holy Week to participate in the Triduum. He said that given the high level of interest and participation, he is considering continuing an online Masses, particularly for those who may be confined to their homes and unable to attend liturgies.

In addition to streaming Masses, the diocesan Leadership Institute live-streamed the “Nine Days of Prayer” online Novena and the Divine Mercy Chaplet. A town hall meeting for youth with the bishop also brought young people together online to deepen their faith.

Parishes throughout the diocese also turned to online Masses at a time when the faithful is unable to gather in person.

By Brian D. Wallace