As many dioceses have closed their churches in response to the pandemic, Vaskov said there is need to be creative ways to involve people in prayer and spiritual practices, even if those are digital opportunities.
The priest told a story about Saint Charles Borromeo who, during a plague in 1500s Italy, would set up Mass on the street corners and people would pray through the windows of their apartments.
"That was a creative way to allow people to draw near to the Lord. We look now to digital ways to do that, and maybe other ways," he said.
"Just because the church is closed doesn't mean that we're sitting here doing nothing, we're going to do all the more.
"If nothing [else], this is going to be our own prayer for our people during this time. So praying with and for each other is going to be such an important part of this."
Vaskov said the Mass for protection, streamed online, will not replace the reception of the Eucharist, but it will still be a powerful experience of prayer and unity. He told CNA he hopes the event will bring peace to people who feel stress or anxiety over the virus.
"It doesn't replace for them what it means to go to Mass and to receive the Eucharist, but it certainly is a help, during challenging days, for so many people with anxiety and worry," he said.
"[This event is a way] to have interactions with people digitally or opportunities for people to ask questions. People are worried and anxious and they look to the Church, they look to saints," he said.
Editor's note: This story was updated March 18.
Perry West is a staff writer for Catholic News Agency. He graduated from Franciscan University with his bachelor's in English. Prior to his job at CNA, he worked in construction staffing and coffee.