At the age of 96, Anna Cocozza has a lot of trouble getting around. The devout Catholic has been attending Sunday mass her entire life but going to church is no longer an option for her.

“She can't walk,” said her daughter-in-law Sylvie Lode. “She's tired, she feels sick in the morning.”

But the Italian-Montrealer has found a way around her predicament. She’s begun watching live streams of a local mass in the comfort of her living room.

Notre-Dame-de-la-Consolata in Rosemont-La Petite-Patrie has begun webcasting its services online both as a tool for the elderly and also in the hopes of attracting more worshipers. Now the power of technology is helping people like Cocozza to stay connected.

Virtual worship

Her son, Angelo Polcaro, is one of the parishioners who helped bring the virtual worship idea to life at the church.

“It's keeping her with something to look forward to do and for me it's fantastic—it gives my mother a sense of purpose,” he said.

Reaching out to youth

Notre-Dame-de-la-Consolata struggles to keep its pews filled with worshipers. It’s a dilemma faced by many churches today as their aging membership dwindles.

“Most of the parishioners are over 70-years-old and I'd say between the next five to six years we're going to have some very serious issues,” said parishioner Charles Sciangula.

So the church is hopeful that its new venture with technology will not only assist its older members, but will help it to reach a younger generation as well.

Funding the project

In the next few weeks Notre-Dame-de-la-Consolata plans to install a more sophisticated webcast system, capable of reaching a larger audience.

The launch will be timed to coincide with a fundraising concert being hosted at the Leonardo da Vinci Community Centre on February 25th