Valley Stream ó At Holy
Name of Mary Church here, parishioners do not have to
worry about missing Sunday Mass or a special occasion
such as a relativeís wedding because they are ill or
homebound. This is thanks to a telephone connection
service the parish provides that allows a person to
listen to these events from their own home.
a system that we have set up in the church, hooked into
our sound system,” noted Sister of St. Joseph Margie
Kelly, parish outreach director at Holy Name of Mary.
“Our sound system is connected by phone to a hub that
allows 20 people to call in and listen. When people
decide they want to be part of it, we provide them with
an amplifier.” The amplifier, she explained, is about
the size of an answering machine; the caller can connect
to the service and listen hands-free, like a
The parish has provided the
telephone hook-up service since 1999. The staff heard
about its use in other parishes, investigated, and
decided it was right for the parish. About 30
parishioners are currently signed up for the service.
The cost to the parishioner is the cost of a phone call.
The parish pays about $300 a month for the telephone
lines used by the service.
“We have volunteers
who turn on the (phone connection) in the church,” she
noted. “We train as many people as are willing to be
trained,” including ushers and sacristans. Two Masses a
day are always connected to the system, and the
volunteers make sure the system is turned on for other
Masses or events parishioners have signed up
“Many people (who are homebound) would
prefer to watch Mass on television,” said Sister Margie,
a service provided by Telecare, the diocesan television
service. (See page 9 for schedule.) “But the real
advantage to the phone system is itís (connected to)
their own parish.” Parishioners can listen to homilies
preached by their own parish priests, and also to parish
missions, concerts, and other special occasions.
“Itís been a wonderful, wonderful service,” said
Sister Margie. “We had one fellow who was in the
hospital when his father died,” and he was able to
listen to the funeral from the hospital.
telephone hook-up system is “just a great way to stay
connected,” she said. “We feel like people in their
homes are part of the parish.”