Building a sense of community in a time of isolation

Patrick Nisbet (Hobart Archdiocese)

An innovative Hobart-based business is providing Catholics with access to a range of resources for personal and family prayer. Source: Hobart Archdiocese.

“Between the resources that we give to ministers and the resources for the people, even in a time of social isolation, we hope to build on that sense of community, solidarity and community connectedness which is intrinsic to us as Catholics,” LiturgyHelp founder and chief executive Patrick Nisbet said.

Mr Nisbet has a Bachelor of Theology, and a background working in youth ministry and Catholic education.

He started LiturgyHelp more than 20 years ago in his spare bedroom with an original idea, faith and energy, and had enthusiastic support for the project from a newly ordained priest, Fr Michael Tate, now Tasmania’s Vicar-General. Mr Nisbet tracked down copyrights, moved from CD-ROMs to online, and evolved the technology.

“We managed to survive the dotcom crash and the GFC and now, hopefully, the coronavirus,” he said.

“What I wanted to do, no one had ever done before. It was a process of working through the legal stuff and copyright restrictions, and then the technology, which was fairly primitive back then.”

More than 50 per cent of parishes and Catholic schools in Australia use LiturgyHelp to assist priests, teachers, catechists, musicians, parish secretaries and others involved in Catholic ministry to prepare for liturgy and prayer via a subscription website.

LiturgyHelp also provides free access to individuals and families, via a simple registration. It is hoped that this will assist Catholic communities and parishioners in social isolation to access texts, prayers and other resources for prayer and worship over the coming weeks, including by families, Mr Nisbet said.

“We have digital resources and so that makes it so much easier for parishes and for ministers who are in social isolation to be able to continue to minister to their people because they can access our resources and email them through; add them to websites; add them to Facebook,” he said.

CathNews has introduced a regular feature on resources to support people’s prayer and spiritual lives during a time when public Masses are suspended. If your diocese, organisation or agency has a website, podcast, YouTube channel or other resource you would like promoted, please send a brief description and the relevant link to [email protected]


LiturgyHelp subscriptions

Free parishioner site on LiturgyHelp


Cloud cover: LiturgyHelp offers access to faith-building resources (Hobart Archdiocese)

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