New evangelization has been a joint effort at Davenport parish


Sara Sieren of St. Paul the Apostle Parish in Davenport leads the rosary April 7 on the parish’s Facebook page.

By Anne Marie Amacher

The Catholic Messenger

DAVENPORT —Evangelization outside the physical church building is something St. Paul the Apostle Parish has worked on for quite a while. The COVID-19 pandemic promp­t­ed the parish to step up its efforts.

“Amazingly, here we are. The most incredible part of it for all of us as staff is to see our parishioners stepping up and stepping into their baptismal call to share the Gospel,” said Tasha Havercamp, director of evangelization and mission with her husband, Michael.  “Our mission is to share the love of Christ with everyone we encounter and we hope, above all else, that our efforts in technology are furthering our fundamental mission.” Parish staff share examples of how it has responded to the pandemic.


Prior to efforts to mitigate spread of COVID-19, St. Paul did not offer Masses online. “We did have a Facebook page and an updated website along with a weekly email and an app. However, these were used more for event announcements rather than engagement,” she said. On March 18, the parish launched its first daily Mass online. More Masses and other online activities followed.

The lead up to the launch involved conversations among parishioner Ryan Burchett, Father Tony Herold, the pastor, and the Havercamps. Burchett, who also is a diocesan deacon candidate, “encouraged us to get thinking about live stream. We’ve been toying with this for years, but this was the push we needed,” Tasha Havercamp said.

Incorporating all of this new technology has been a joint effort. “Most of our jobs and ministry are happening now via technology so everyone has stepped up their game, gotten out of their comfort zones and been contributing to the efforts,” she added.

Administering online in­volves a learning curve, she noted, including problems uploading the first live-streamed Mass. They had to work on the best ways to “not have hiccups with technology.”

The parish also offers daily rosary and evening reflections online with the help of parishioners. Volunteers have the option to do their parts live or prerecorded. Different parishioners are asked to lead so “we can see each other and feel connected. We encourage live stream. It’s much more engaging and interactive, which is a priority for us,” Tasha Havercamp said.

Weekend Masses are live-streamed at 4:30 p.m. on Saturday and 9 a.m. on Sunday. Daily Mass is streamed from the parish’s Facebook page under the COVID-19 updates link on the home page.

Another event the parish has tried is praise and worship on Facebook. Parishioners recorded themselves at home and the videos were pieced together.

Michelle Herrington, director of parish life, said Stations of the Cross were offered on Fridays during Lent. A script was developed by 23rd Publications for use during the pandemic. The parish live-streamed the Triduum liturgies, at which Bishop Thomas Zinkula presided, on Holy Thursday, Good Friday and Saturday evening for the Easter Vigil.

Luke Ebener, the parish’s youth minister who also leads Theology on Tap for young adults in the Quad-City area, has had an ongoing online presence for young adults. Jen Brooke, director of religious education, has worked with catechists to upload Children’s Liturgy of the Word. St. Paul the Apostle Catholic School’s principal Julie Delaney offers daily prayer, morning announcements, birthdays, saint of the day and a book each morning online. Teachers offer a variety of online resources for students.

When Mass can once again be celebrated in person, Herrington said the parish plans to keep an active presence on social media. “It plays a big role in people’s lives, especially millennials and younger. We feel this is an important tool for reaching out beyond the walls of our church to engage and evangelize.”

To visit the parish website visit and its Facebook page at

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