RELIGION

Services from Tipperary church can now be viewed around the world

Parish webcam TV

A parish TV webcam service for Ss Peter and Paul's church in Clonmel is now available

Students from Transition Year in Clonmel High School, as part of their Pope John Paul II Awards and Business Project, fundraised and installed a Parish TV webcam service for parishioners in Ss Peter and Paul’s, Clonmel, which is now available. 

Last September the idea was put to them by the school chaplain Fr. Michael Toomey as a way of building confidence skills in having a business plan, setting targets, meeting clients and selling the ideas to people. 

Immediately the group set about researching the benefits of having a web-based service for parishioners. One major benefit they found was for the elderly at home who cannot attend Mass regularly. The other was for family around the world who cannot get back to Clonmel for important events such as funerals, weddings and Baptisms. 

They set a target of €5,000 and immediately began a number of initiatives to fundraise, including donating poinsettias for the altar at Christmas; designing, printing and selling a calendar; arranging a very successful quiz night; and meeting local businesses to sponsor and donate towards the project. 

The team then made the trip to Church Services TV’s head office in Bray, Co. Wicklow, and met with the director of the company Tony Bolger, who gave them an overview of the service available, helping parishes and other religious organisations expand their reach across the globe well beyond what was traditionally possible.

By making services available on PCs, laptops, mobile devices and television sets anywhere in the world, Church Services TV helps those confined to home or care facilities, and those living away from home, to keep in touch with their parish and continue to be part of the local community.

Above - Transition Year students from Clonmel High School, who fundraised for and installed a parish webcam service for parishioners in Ss Peter and Paul’s. From left, Eoghan O’Donnell, Aidan Hayes, Sean Casey, Matthew Byrne, Liam Ryan, Eoin Ryan, Michael Dillon and Jake Lindy  

The students also saw the behind-the-scenes access to how the system works and helped in the area of design, communication and setting out a business plan. They were also informed that the Parish TV system will also be available on the RTE Player service in the near future. 

Tony Bolger thanked the group for making the long trip to Bray to explore the business they were helping to launch in Clonmel.

He said “we enjoyed having the team from the High School here, and hope there was value in the experience for the students. These students are a credit to themselves, parents, the school and especially to all of you”. 

Ahead of schedule, the students met their fundraising target and the contract was signed in Bray, and the vision and idea of having a TV service able to broadcast live from the church is now a reality.

Speaking at their graduation ceremony, at which the students were awarded their Pope John Paul II Awards, Fr. Michael Toomey praised the group for their commitment and dedication week in week out, and their teachers Mr. O’Gorman, Miss O’Sullivan and Ms O’Dwyer, for all their support.

“The benefit of this service was immediate and personal to the school”, Fr. Michael told the students, their families and friends who gathered for their graduation ceremony. 

He said “A member of staff had a bereavement and some family could not come home from Australia for the funeral. So, the first funeral we had available assisted this member of staff’s family through the dedication of these students and their commitment to seeing through the project”. 

“Your parents and we, the staff here, are so proud of this remarkable achievement and I commend you all for your dedication and commitment.”

Already there have been over 10,000 views of the service internationally, and children recently making their First Holy Communion were able to look at the Mass afterwards on the catch-up service. 

People can access the service on www.churchservices.tv and search for ‘Clonmel’ – and see services from both Ss Peter and Paul’s and St. Mary’s Churches. Other videos and interesting programmes are also available.

There is also a church services TV app available on the App Store and Android.

For more Tipperary news read  Carrick-on-Suir student's campaign on behalf of bereaved students is successful