Local priest encouraging community through social media


FALL RIVER, Mass. (WPRI) — In times like the coronavirus pandemic many people turn to their faith for answers.

They may not have Mass right now, or Catholic school, but the families of St. Michael’s and St. Joseph’s in Fall River have Father Jay Mello shining the way.

“Trying to keep them positive is such an important part of this.”

The days can feel long for students at St. Michael’s School. They’re home for the foreseeable future, away from their daily class routine and away from their favorite pastor.

But Father Mello is making sure they know he’s just a phone call away.

“One of the things we’re going to try to do next week – just to try to keep that regular routine, is I’m going to record what we normally do for our morning prayers in the morning is an Our Father, Hail Mary, Glory be, the St. Michael Prayer, so that the kids can pray along with me. Thanks be to God for technology. If we lose the internet can you imagine what would happen? We’re going to go crazy!”

And he’s going beyond recorded messages.

Kelsey Macaroco recorded her niece Rylyn’s reaction when Father Jay Facetimed her and her brother Myles directly this week.

Parishioners are appreciative too of the messages he’s been posting to his public Facebook page. They dropped off homemade bread and cheese to his door during this social distancing period.

“You think there’s so much division in our country because of politics or other things that you know what? Today we’re all Americans. Today we’re all one human race that are fighting a common enemy and sometimes these things bring us together that remind us how much we do have in common,” Mello said.

Father Mello plans to hold Mass at St. Joseph’s Sunday morning at 10:45 a.m. and stream it on his Facebook page.

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