COLUMBUS - Father Joe Miksch said he's been a pastor at St. Isidore's Parish for 24 years.

He talked about how he felt when he got word Mass was to cease due to the coronavirus.

"Complete shock," Miksch said.  "Finding out we couldn’t visit the hospital, the nursing homes, it just really caused me to stop and say, ‘what’s my purpose in life?’  That’s why I became a priest.  To celebrate the Eucharist and the sacraments, to visit the sick and the poor.”

That didn't stop the church's efforts completely.  Miksch said they began broadcasting on YouTube.  He said shortly after that, News Channel Nebraska founder Mike Flood reached out about hosting Mass on TV to broadcast across the state and stream on Facebook.

Since NCN began airing the daily services, Mitsch said he's received letters from people who were watching as far away as Iowa, Colorado and California.

“Then one parishioner told me one Sunday afternoon that she has relatives in Switzerland and they were watching every day," he said.  "So that was really exciting.”

He said it's good to hear so many people have benefited from the broadcasts and that the experience has made folks realize how much they appreciate their faith.

"I think it’s been an awakening call for all of us to make us realize how much our faith is a part of our life and how much we miss it when suddenly, we’re told we can’t attend mass and we can’t receive the sacraments in church,” he said.

He said he's been receiving letters from people wondering whether the daily Mass broadcasts will continue after May.

NCN will, in fact, keep airing them in the foreseeable future, provided that viewers continue to enjoy them.