The resident priests of the Church of Our Lady of La Paloma, in Madrid, have been performing fantastic, faith-fueled concerts for their community, singing from balconies and the streets to promote unity in this time of social isolation. They share their recordings on the church’s YouTube channel, which has a quickly growing catalog of Catholic videos posted daily.
A report from Catholic News Service explains that when the church was forced to close over COVID-19 precautions, Fr. Gabriel Benedicto, pastor of the church, was only concerned with bringing church services to the public. One day, however, after ministering to the public from a safe distance, he was taken aback by the applause which rained down from the surrounding buildings. He and his fellow priests, who are all musically inclined, decided there was much more they could do to raise spirits, and they began performing songs of faith and hope for their people.
“One priest said to me, ‘Hey, we need to sing!’ And I said, ‘Yes. Tomorrow we must sing,’ because it was this spontaneous feeling that came from the heart,” he told CNS.
CNS goes on to note that Fr. Benedicto performs with three other priests and a missionary, who shares their isolation. They have been making several posts a day of their concerts, which always show thrilled faces peeking out from the windows of the surrounding apartment complexes. Since the outbreak began, they have built their YouTube channel to amass over 10,000 followers.
Along with short concert videos, the priests also share church services andposting these daily as well. Their channel now has dozens of Catholic videos that range from to religious practice. Fr. Benedicto told CNS in the above featured interview:
“There are a lot of people who didn’t really go to Mass (before) and, in different ways, whether through friends who told them or a relative that died, connected to the Mass online to pray for the deceased. Now they are starting to watch Mass every day. I think in many ways people are rediscovering that seed of faith that many of us received from our families and those around us.”
The priest says that YouTube has given them an outlet to reach their parishioners and bring some much-needed celebration. They have been able to make videos to help people stay connected with each other, even when they cannot come together in person. While there’s no telling when the isolation orders will be pulled, Fr. Benedicto and his dedicated priests have found the perfect way to keep their community together in a crisis.
To visit the Church of Our Lady of La Paloma Youtube channel, click here.