Virtual Church and Spiritual Frugality.


One of the intriguing elements I found fascinating in the Ignatian Spirituality is the “Finding God in all things”, in other words, to find God in every situation.

It has been widely reported that the self-confinement imposed by COVID-19 has taught us a frugal way of living many aspects of our lives. Right. And the frugality that touched me particularly in these times is what I would call a “spiritual frugality”.

No in-person church, no  Easter retreat, no in-person Easter Vigil, and so on. Never before, have I imagined that I would enjoy a virtual mass that much, or even take it seriously. TV masses have rather seemed to me like a second-class mass.

However, with the self-confinement, I found in the virtual mass a way to relate to the most vulnerable, the sick and the old who don’t have the privilege of attending an in-person mass, and for whom a mass online or on TV has always been the only option to attend mass.

On Friday, March 27, I was attending the Toronto-based Daily TV Mass on YouTube, and the celebrant, Fr. Michael Coutts S.J. spoke beautifully about virtual churches and virtual parishes. I found a richness in the virtual church, a surprising richness in the “spiritual frugality’’ of this time. That richness also resides in the possibility of listening again to a homily we enjoyed, which is not really possible with an in-person mass.

The richness also holds true for the many choices we have now, when searching for an online mass: the Pope’s daily mass in his Santa Marta’s chapel ( or the daily mass of the Word on Fire from the chapel of bishop Robert Barron (, and  the many other parishes that shifted their masses online.

Certainly, it is also a privilege to have the device and the Internet connection to attend a virtual mass. For those who do not have the means to attend virtual masses, may they find God in the frugality of their current daily lives.

Dodzi Jean-Antoine Amemado is a university scholar. He also works with the Federal Government in Ottawa.

  • Peter Bisson SJ
    Posted at 06:31h, 29 May Reply

    Thank you Dodzi!

  • Philip Shano
    Posted at 16:09h, 29 May Reply

    Thanks so much Dodzi. Your post and an article I just saw give me an idea of a post about the future of the church

    Posted at 16:19h, 29 May Reply

    Most of the ideas for the Virtual Masses and Virtual Parishes were thanks to Colleen Dulle who wrote for America Mag.

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