News: ADA supports training for parishes, schools

March 17, 2021

Screen capture from Zoom meeting

The Annual Diocesan Appeal funds workshops and other training for parishes and schools that, in turn, directly benefits parishioners.

One example was a streaming workshop, held Jan. 28, via Zoom. All parishes throughout the diocese were invited to attend to learn more about how to create a sense of inclusion and community through livestreaming worship and other church activities.

Speakers included Father Ken Halbur, pastor of St. Luke Parish in Ankeny; and Wilfrido Matamoros, business and communications manager at Our Lady of the Americas Parish in Des Moines. They established livestreaming at their parishes and understand the benefits and challenges.

Kerry Graffunder and Dave Phelps, from Audio Video Electronics, also offered tips and advice. Their company installed the audio system at St. Ambrose Cathedral in Des Moines several years ago and will soon be installing new cameras and equipment to achieve a professional livestream for Masses at the cathedral, including Bishop William Joensen 12:10 p.m. Mass and special events, such as ordinations, and more.

Nearly 60 people from around the diocese tuned in for the workshop and participated in a Q&A session at the end.

“I think it was good to share our resources and give others ways of doing things,” Father Halbur said. “We have a number of parishes that are doing very professional [livestreams] and others that are kind of winging it and are struggling.”

It was beneficial to share information with those less experienced to give them help and recommendations so they can better serve their parish community, he said.

“I think important because we are all part of a parish family,” Father Halbur added. “While you can go online and watch Mass at EWTN or at the Vatican or other things, it’s good to have that connection to your own parish and see your own church and see your own pastor. You see the people you know and it’s familiar, and we like the familiar. It gives you a connection.”

Father Mark Neal, pastor of Holy Trinity Parish in Des Moines, said attending the workshop was beneficial.

“Just before Christmas, we were able to install a permanent live streaming system in our church,” Father Neal said. “The workshop helped confirm that we are on the right track and gave some ideas for how we might upgrade the quality of our streams. It was helpful to hear what other parishes are doing.”

Diane Nitzel, information technology support at St. Francis Parish in West Des Moines, said “It was nice to see what other parishes in the diocese were doing in regards to live streaming and share ideas.”

Sarah Sheerin, director of youth ministry at Sacred Heart Parish in West Des Moines, said while the streaming at their parish is already well established, she appreciated the opportunity to see who was in charge of streaming at other parishes for networking purposes.