How coronavirus has boosted church attendance

All they needed to do to boost Mass attendance was to close the church doors.

With Masses suspended until further notice due to coronavirus, Catholic churches across the state are suddenly taking the electronic highway to heaven — streaming and broadcasting services live so parishioners can follow at home.

Church officials say electronic attendance is miraculous.

By one estimate, 150,000 people or more have watched the 10:15 a.m. Sunday Masses celebrated by Timothy Cardinal Dolan from St. Patrick’s Cathedral –- seating capacity 2,400 — since March 8.

St. Patrick’s Cathedral officials told The Post that its streaming data shows that for the 10:15 a.m. Mass on March 22, there were over three times the number of visitors than is typical on the Cathedral’s busiest streaming days of the year, Christmas or Easter.

“Of course this is not ideal, however I am glad our Catholic network can provide this service to our people at this difficult time,” said Monsignor Jim Vlaun of the Catholic Faith Network, which measured online viewers for the 10:15 a.m. Sunday Masses at St. Pat’s in recent weeks.

Viewership of the livestreamed Masses on St. Patrick’s website shot through the Cathedral’s vaunted ceiling, growing from 577 viewers on March 8 to 10,892 on March 15 to a whopping 26,116 on March 22, according to their data.

Since each of those “viewers” represent a screen, the physical number of overall viewers is likely significantly higher, double at a minimum.

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