The year 2020 will be one Catholics will not forget as the rise in concern for the Coronavirus brought about the temporary suspension of public Mass in dioceses throughout the world. In response to the suspension of public Masses in the Diocese of Tyler, Bishop Strickland began live-streaming his private Mass each day in the Diocesan Chancery Chapel. Bishop Strickland’s focus was to get the celebration of the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass to the people of his diocese during the pandemic.  

This became a source of joy for us and for many people during the pandemic as, at times, tens of thousands of individuals from many parts of the world joined Bishop Strickland every day to pray. As a result, Bishop Strickland decided to continue to live-stream daily Mass in the Diocesan Chancery Chapel permanently. 

In order to make this a possibility we needed to purchase and update much of our equipment. In June of 2020, Bishop Strickland and the St. Philip Institute asked for your help to make this possible. We requested help to raise $3000 to purchase a Mevo camera, new lighting, and additional equipment. Thanks to your generosity, we raised over $10,000 within hours!  As a result, we have been able to do much more than we originally planned. 

New and updated live-streaming equipment was purchased and installed in the chapel. Now Bishop Strickland can live-stream Mass with just the push of a button on his phone, opening our little chapel to the world. 

The updates included:

  • Mevo Camera for live-streaming
  • Camera arm and camera clamp
  • New lighting
  • Extension cords and power strips
  • And renovations to the chapel that are still underway!

Because of your generosity, we have also started renovations to the chapel to make it a beautiful place for the Lord. The ceiling tiles and lighting in the chapel were replaced to give the chapel less of an office feel. The tabernacle was repainted and new candles and a new crucifix are on their way. 

Finally, Bishop Strickland commissioned Robert Puschautz, the St. Philip Institute Stabat Mater Art Fellow, to paint images of the Eucharistic Heart of Jesus, the Immaculate Heart of Mary, and the Chaste Heart of Joseph for the chapel. Once complete, these images will be placed above the tabernacle in the chapel. All this in an effort to make our chapel a beautiful place of worship and prayer.

The Eucharistic Heart of Jesus
The Immaculate Heart of Mary

The St. Joseph Chapel

To celebrate the new additions to the chapel, on September 8, 2020, Bishop Strickland dedicated and named the Diocesan Chancery Chapel after St. Joseph. Bishop Strickland chose to dedicate the chapel to St. Joseph to highlight the role of Joseph in the life of the family and especially in the lives of men of faith. St. Joseph is the patron of the Universal Church and a model for us of faith, holiness and love. To commemorate the 150th anniversary of the dedication of St. Joseph as the Patron of the Universal Church, Pope Francis has also named this liturgical year the Year of St. Joseph.

To highlight the St. Joseph Chapel in the Chancery offices, a beautiful candle and plaque have been mounted on the wall outside the chapel, a little reminder to all who pass through the hall of the presence of our Lord in the Blessed Sacrament. 

Although watching online can never replace physical presence at the celebration of the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, live-streaming Mass from the St. Joseph’s Chapel has allowed us to be a source of light and encouragement for those who cannot be present.    

Masses are celebrated and live-streamed to the St. Philip Institute Facebook page Monday-Friday at noon from the St. Joseph Chapel.  Mass is said in English on Monday, Wednesday and Friday. On Tuesday and Thursday Mass is celebrated in Spanish. If you are in the Chancery at any time to visit, please join us in the St. Joseph Chapel at noon for Holy Mass!

From all of us at the St. Philip Institute and the Diocese of Tyler, thank you for helping us  renovate the St. Joseph Chapel and making Bishop Strickland’s celebration of the Mass available online!

By Elizabeth Slaten

Elizabeth currently serves as the Managing Editor for the Catholic East Texas in the Diocese of Tyler. A native East Texan, Elizabeth is a cradle Catholic with a passion for Evangelization and Catechesis. She has a Master’s degree in Theology from the Augustine Institute in Denver, CO. In her free time, Elizabeth can be found studying Church History, hiking or perfecting her skills at brewing the perfect cup of coffee.