Thursday, September 10, 2015

Fr. Kevin broadcasts live on Periscope ahead of Pope visit

You can watch Fr. Kevin's Periscope broadcast until about lunchtime on Friday. After that, it'll be gone.  

Fr. Kevin Mackin broadcast live Thursday from St. Vincent de Paul Society's Center of Hope in downtown St Petersburg in preparation for live streaming he plans to do during Pope Francis' visit in Washington, D.C. this month.

Today, Fr. Kevin spoke with Maria Smetena, coordinator of volunteers and administrative affairs at the St. Vincent de Paul district office, who was at the center to help with the distribution of lunch to center clients.

Fr. Kevin, who is a frequent visitor to the Center of Hope, was practicing with the new live streaming Internet platform Periscope, which can be used to broadcast from any location where there is a good wifi connection.

Periscope is an app that can be downloaded free for Apple and Android mobile devices. The app makes it feasible for anyone to broadcast about their activities to friends or a group of followers. Periscope users receive alerts on their phones or tablets about an upcoming broadcast. The app allows users to respond to the broadcast by sending text messages, which scroll up the screen and can be read by the broadcaster. Users also can tap on the screen during a broadcast to create a stream of hearts to indicate approval of the broadcast.

The app was introduced publicly in March and within a month had a million subscribers. Less than six months later, there are an estimated 10 million subscribers worldwide, and Periscope use continues to grow.

Fr. Kevin is believed to be one of the first clergy in the Diocese of St. Petersburg to start using the Periscope platform. He is doing a series of 'Scopes on his daily activities to become more familiar with this new communication tool.

You can follow Fr. Kevin on Periscope. After downloading the app to your device and establishing an account, search for Franciscan Friar or @FrKevinOFM. It is easier to establish an account using your Twitter account. Twitter owns Periscope and the two apps are tightly integrated. Twitter accounts and apps also are free. If you plan to follow Fr. Kevin, do so soon and help him become familiar with Periscope by giving him plenty of response, and of course, a steady stream of hearts.

Pope Francis arrives in Washington late in the afternoon on Tuesday, September 22 as part of his six-day visit to the United States. He will meet with President Obama in the morning on Wednesday, September 23, and later in the day will celebrate the Canonization Mass of Junipero Serra Ferrer, OFM, an 18th century Spanish Franciscan friar who established a a mission in what is now San Diego in 1769. Fr. Kevin will participate in that Mass, which is scheduled to begin at 4:15 p.m.

Pope Francis also will address a joint session of Congress and will visit New York and Philadelphia during his trip.

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