By Mark Abrams

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – The Philadelphia Archdiocese took a giant leap into live social media in the days leading up to Easter.

Spokesman Ken Gavin says the archdiocese entered the world of Facebook Live by broadcasting Holy Week rites on Archbishop Charles Chaput’s Facebook page.

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A screenshot of Archbishop Charles Chaput’s Facebook page shows the Facebook Live broadcast of the Chrism Mass on Holy Thursday from the Cathedral Basilica of Saints Peter and Paul in Philadelphia.

Gavin says the Chrism Mass on Holy Thursday from the Cathedral Basilica of Saints Peter and Paul on the Parkway drew a wide audience.

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“We had over 20,000 views from all over the world. We saw folks from the Philippines, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Canada, all over the United States and they’re telling us they’re here, but they’re also joining prayerfully in the Mass in the comments.”

Gavin says the cathedral is equipped with a full broadcast studio system and the archbishop gave his blessing to use it for the initiative.

He says the leap into Facebook Live is in keeping with the Vatican’s call to reach out to people in the public square wherever they are – in this case the social media square.

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