Msgr. Robert E. Zapfel, pastor of St. Leo the Great Church in Amherst, is especially eager for the pope's visit. The parish will debut its new technology on Sunday, Sept. 27, at 4 p.m., featuring Pope Francis celebrating Mass live from Philadelphia for the conclusion of the World Meeting of Families.
The papal Mass will be projected by a newly installed HD LCD projector onto a large video screen, which retracts when not in use.
"Pope Francis has invited all of us to participate in the New Evangelization - the mission of the Church to bring Christ to others," said Msgr. Zapfel. "The new technology in our parish church will be used to help us grow in our faith and to be better able to respond to the grace of the Holy Spirit in living as disciples of Jesus."
Speaking about how St. Leo's intends to utilize this technology in the future, Msgr. Zapfel said that the parish will begin "PLUS 10 SUNDAY" once a month starting in September.
"Parishioners will be asked to stay after Mass once a month for an additional 10 minutes to view a professionally produced video on an aspect of our Catholic faith," Msgr. Zapfel said. "In fact, a video greeting by Bishop (Richard J.) Malone which was created by Daybreak TV Productions will be the first in this series. Other topics include an update on our faith in Christ, a teaching of Pope Francis on poverty or the environment, or a refresher on one of the sacraments of the Church."
After the showing of the videos, a survey will be in the parish bulletin and also on its website.
"If there is sufficient interest on a topic, we could organize a discussion group," Msgr. Zapfel said. "We also hope to begin a spiritual renewal program in our parish early next year and the video portion will use the new screen. Additionally, it will be used for religious films and by the music ministry to teach new hymns."
All are invited to join St. Leo the Great Church, along with hundreds of thousands of viewers from all over the world, to view the papal closing Mass. There will be Exposition of the Most Blessed Sacrament during the Mass for all to pray for families with the Holy Father.
Everyone in the diocese is welcome and is asked to bring a non-perishable item to be donated to the St. Vincent de Paul Food Pantry in keeping with Pope Francis' call for all to meet the needs of the poor.