Live video coverage of events helps unite expansive diocese
By Tess Wahlmeier
(SNR) - The territory of the Catholic Diocese of Lincoln encompasses all of Nebraska south of the Platte River – from David City to North Platte, Falls City to Imperial – making many diocesan events difficult for people to attend.
In order to reach those who cannot attend events held in Lincoln, the diocese will begin “livestreaming” – broadcasting of live video events – on the Catholic Diocese of Lincoln YouTube channel. Links to the livestreamed events will also be posted on the diocesan Facebook page.
The livestreaming will formally kick off Feb. 21. Bishop James Conley will share his story of conversion at the final “Catholic Coffee House” of the season.
The annual diocesan Lenten series, which begins Feb. 15 and continues every Monday of Lent, will also be livestreamed.
Father Andrew Heaslip, diocesan digital media coordinator, said livestreaming is an important way for the diocese to expand its horizons and connect with others in different parts of the state.
“There are a lot of people who are not close to Lincoln, and to drive there would be impractical,” Father Heaslip said. “If someone out there wants to see or hear what’s going on, they have an easy channel to be able to do that.”
Father Mark Seiker, pastor of St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Parish in North Platte, said he and his parishioners try to be a part of diocesan events as time and distance permit, but livestreaming would help close the gap – a gap of more than 200 miles – between North Platte and Lincoln, by allowing parishioners to watch events online.
“It’s everybody seeing and hearing the same thing at one time,” Father Seiker said. “I think that’s a great benefit. It’s also a great benefit to be able to have it available for viewing, after the fact.”
For those unable to make the trip for an event, they can still enjoy various talks and seminars from the comforts of their home or parish.
“I think most people would agree and recognize that it’s best to be live and in person,” Father Seiker said, “but when that’s not possible, a second best is livestream.”
Livestreaming also allows a larger crowd of people to hear popular talks. When Dr. Scott and Kimberly Hahn came to speak at North American Martyrs Parish in Lincoln last year, tickets sold out so quickly, the Hahns allowed video of some of their talks to be included on the diocesan website and YouTube channel.
The channel (which can be found by searching “Catholic Diocese of Lincoln” on YouTube) includes those and many more talks. The Newman Institute lectures from last fall are available and this coming fall, the lectures will be livestreamed, and the content will remain on the YouTube channel for later viewing.