March 17, 2015 // Local

Closed captioning during TV Mass better serves faithful

The Sunday TV Mass on WFFT-TV and WNDU-TV has been offering closed captioning (CC) since Feb. 1 in Fort Wayne and March 15 in South Bend.

All televisions are equipped with the CC feature noted Fort Wayne TV Mass co-producer Beth Machall-Dwyer. “The viewer uses the ‘CC’ button on the TV remote or by checking the settings for ‘Closed Captioning’ in the menus on their TV or converter box,” Machall-Dwyer said.

Via a telephone connection, a professional captioning service accesses the audio going to the WFFT or WNDU transmitter. A transcriber — a real human being — listens to the Mass and transcribes what is heard and types out the captions live.

Sister Agnes Marie Regan, a Sister of St. Francis of Perpetual Adoration who produces the TV Mass on WNDU and who serves as the hostess, told Today’s Catholic that many viewers asked for the closed captioning for the TV Mass.

“Over the years, we’ve been frequently asked about the possibility of ‘closed captioning’ as many of our viewing congregration have age-related hearing difficulties,” Sister Agnes Marie noted. “What a gift this will be for them now to have the ability to follow along with the Scripture readings and Mass prayers right along with us. What a beautiful gift of making inclusion in our Sunday TV Mass liturgies more complete.”

Machall-Dwyer added, “Many of our viewers are elderly, homebound Catholics that are unable to attend Mass at their parish. This is an important ministry that enables them to attend Mass without leaving their homes. The same holds true for others that are not mobile, such as the hospitalized.”

The closed captioning is sponsored by D.O. McComb and Sons on WFFT-TV and by Saint Joseph Regional Medical Center on WNDU-TV.

“Our hope is that this also touches those that are not Catholic or have fallen away from the Church,” she added. “There are other national/international televised Masses available. What is unique about ours is that it is local. Local, familiar priests celebrate. I have to believe that our Catholic viewers enjoy seeing priests that they know.”

The TV Mass accepts donations to pay for broadcasting costs. Contact Tina in the Office of Communications at 260-744-0012 for information.






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