New teaching Mass video released by diocese

Father David Lies celebrated the teaching Mass that is now available at

A video about the Catholic Mass was released last week by the Catholic Diocese of Wichita.

“The Mass Explained” describes the Mass, including details of the priest’s vestments, books, the objects used during the Mass, and outlines the different parts of the Mass. The video is available on the Diocese of Wichita’s YouTube channel and is just under 14 minutes long.

The new release is an updated version of a Teaching the Mass video produced by the diocese in 2012, which currently has over 250,000 views.

The Very Rev. David Lies, vicar general of the diocese, celebrates the video Mass, which was recorded in the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception in Wichita. The voice-over narration is by Father Michael Nolan, a priest of the diocese.

Seminarian helped produce video

Caleb Kuestersteffen, a fourth-year college seminarian for the Diocese of Wichita, was instrumental in the production.

He interned for the Office of Communications last summer because of his experience at a Wichita television station before he entered the St. Joseph House of Formation, the diocesan seminary program.

“It is a hobby of mine and I’ve kept up with videography and photography,” he said, “so Matt and I talked about some different ways we could put those gifts to use.”

Video popular around the world

Matt Vainer, the director of the Office of Communications for the diocese, explained that the Teaching the Mass video was one of the most popular videos on the diocesan YouTube channel, but that it needed to be updated.

“If YouTube is allowing us an opportunity to evangelize through video, we must continue to seek ways to engage and grow that world-wide audience,” Vainer said. “Our second most views for the Teaching of the Mass video is from the Philippines at 12.4 percent, with views from the U.S. at 41 percent.”

These videos reach a wide audience, Kuestersteffen said. “So we thought, let’s try to give the teaching video a facelift.” Some of the most formidable challenges are those behind the scenes, he said. He had to find a priest for the video, coordinate schedules with the church, find lectors, servers, and Mass-goers to assist with the project. “Everybody was very, very gracious with their time in the middle of the afternoon to record the Mass.”

Kuestersteffen worked with Father Nolan to script the production, scoured the internet to study similar teaching videos, and reflected on what they wanted the video to be.

“We want to teach as part of this, but we don’t want it to be everything there is to know about the Mass because we didn’t want it to be hours long,” he said.

Editing took most amount of time

Kuestersteffen’s biggest challenge came in editing. “It can take two hours to do a video that’s two minutes long. So when it comes to something more complicated, where you have three cameras and elements such as a voice-over and music…that’s a project.”

Now that the video is done and open to public viewing, he said: “You hope you didn’t mess up this phrase or that phrase that changes the meaning of what I intended.”

It was a big project worthy of the effort, he added. “If others can gain from it and walk away from it thinking about something they hadn’t thought about before, then that’s worth it right there – whether it’s 20 views or 20,000 views.”

The seminarian is a member of St. John the Evangelist Parish in El Dorado.

Father Nolan said as a child he always wanted to be a news or sports announcer but the seminary gave him a chance to announce the “good news.”

“What a privilege to be able to participate in a project like this video on the Mass,” he said. “The words and the pictures become transparent as we focus in on the One who unites us to himself in his offering to the Father. Words of good news and words of consecration give way to respectful and awe-filled silence before the Word Made Flesh.”