As Catholic dioceses suspend public Masses all over the United States in an effort to slow the spread of the coronavirus pandemic, EWTN will continue to broadcast Mass, Michael Warsaw, EWTN chairman of the board and CEO, said Thursday during an interview on EWTN News Nightly.
“I think there’s so much anxiety,” Warsaw told anchor Tracy Sabol. “There’s so much fear. People feel untethered. And I think one of the things that EWTN provides is a place that people can turn to ground themselves, to connect themselves with the faith and really to find reassurance that God is there for them in this really difficult time.”
Warsaw said it was always the vision of EWTN Foundress Mother Angelica that the network and its audience are a family, offering prayer and support to one another.
“And I think in this time and in this moment we are very much a family for one another,” he said.
Warsaw said more and more people are turning to EWTN for spiritual support as they are unable to attend Mass in person.
“With all of the churches closed and the inability of people not just in this country, but globally, really to be able to attend Mass on Sunday, people tying into our Mass and participating remotely in our Mass, has been really a lifeline for many people to the practice of their faith, the ability to watch the Mass on EWTN, both on our linear channels, but also online on EWTN.com,” he said.
In addition to broadcasting more Masses, EWTN has added special radio programming and an online livestream of Eucharistic adoration as additional devotional content during the pandemic. EWTN has also created a spiritual resource page to respond to the interest in spiritual support during this time. This page includes links to the Live Mass in multiple languages as well as tips for prayer and homeschooling.
“So many people have commented how much that has meant to them and how meaningful that has been to them to be able to have that opportunity to pray and to know that when they are praying, when they are participating in and watching, that they're doing so with people all over the world who are part of that EWTN family,” Warsaw said. “So I think that's one of the things we’re trying to do. And across the board with all of our programming, really trying to be a resource for people and to give people hope and to remind people that in this moment, what's most important is that we need to keep our eyes fixed on Christ.”
Warsaw said that as the virus spread across the globe, it affected EWTN operations first in the network’s Manila office, then the Rome bureau, “and then ultimately here to the United States.” He said the pandemic would not stop EWTN from airing its most essential programming.
“So most of our employees are working remotely, and we have essential staff who are still on duty in their posts in Irondale and here in Washington and elsewhere,” he said. “And we’re certainly prepared if we need to do more restrictions. But the bottom line of that is that we will continue to air our channels. We will continue to produce programming, particularly the Mass, news, other key programming that will continue, and we’re prepared for that to continue.”
EWTN currently broadcasts Mass daily at 8:00 A.M., noon, and 7:00 P.M. Eastern.
Kate Scanlon is a producer for EWTN's Pro-Life Weekly.