Church, Network Ten to mark 50-year milestone

The longest-running program on Australian commercial television, Mass for You at Home, will celebrate 50 years on our screens when Mass is broadcast into people’s living rooms on August 1.

Mass for You at Home, which originally aired on Channel 0 in Victoria, was a ministry of the Catholic Archdiocese of Melbourne from 1971 until earlier this year.

It is now produced by the Catholic Diocese of Wollongong, in partnership with the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference. It airs on Network 10 across Australia and is also available online via 10 Play and the Mass for You at Home website.

Wollongong Bishop Brian Mascord said much has changed in the 50 years since Mass was first broadcast on free-to-air television. The need for the Mass remains, though.

“Fr Michael King’s vision from the early 1970s – to provide spiritual nourishment to the housebound – is still relevant today for people who are sick, infirm, in hospital or aged care, in prison or don’t have internet,” he said.

“We also have a special commitment to the deaf, supported by AUSLAN interpreters.

“To bring a real sense of the sacred to people, inviting them to be part of a scattered yet connected worshipping community, is a privilege and a great responsibility. We take that responsibility seriously and are humbled by the letters, emails and calls we receive from our grateful community.

“The pandemic has also introduced a new audience to Mass for You at Home, via television and online platforms.”

Bishop Mascord said the Church has long understood the importance of media and communication in reaching the Catholic faithful and members of the wider community, Bishop Mascord said.

“Mass for You at Home is a shining example of how we have been able to do that for 50 years, a trusted collaboration with Network Ten,” he said.

Bishop Mascord acknowledged the work of the hundreds of priests and lay people who have contributed to the ministry’s history by celebrating Mass, reading Scripture, singing and producing the Masses.

“Having observed our production team working on Mass for You at Home for the past few months, it has demonstrated what must have gone into this task over the decades,” Bishop Mascord said.

“I thank and honour those – past and present – who have allowed this ministry to flourish, and I also thank those who are now providing financial support to see the legacy continue.”

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