July 19th, 2009 by fastmikey
With the international Year for Priests, started from the 19th of June, now in full swing, it’s a good opportunity to look at how the internet is being used to support the call to spiritual arms. Here’s a few of the sites around the world that are working through the coming year to promote the call for vocations and for support of our spiritual guardians:
Annus Sacerdotalis – http://tinyurl.com/n827jv – Set up by the Congregation for Clergy, this new site offers a range spiritual resources and documents for priests and lay people to help focus celebration, in a multitude of different languages.
WorldPriest – http://www.worldpriest.com - Run by an independent group of Catholic communications professionals from the US and Ireland, WorldPriest provides a range of online resources. On June 19th the group co-ordinated four Masses around the globe to be celebrated at 3pm on the 19th of June in their respective timezones – see http://www.worldpriestday.com for more information.
FuturePriests – http://www.futurepriests.com – An initiative coming from the diocese of Utrecht in the Netherlands, FuturePriests.com is a global campaign to call for prayers and support for vocations using Twitter. Twitter is one of the fastest growing social networks in the world, making it a fantastics place to spread the word far and wide and get large numbers involved in this prayer-campaign.
The internet being a huge place, this is only the tip of the iceberg. Have you got any interesting sites on vocations to share – post a comment and help your fellow internet pilgrim to answer their call!
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July 12th, 2009 by bigjim
With all the bad publicity that the internet gets, you could be forgiven for wondering if it brings any good at all! How many recent stories have you read (this column excluded) talking about the internet and crime, porn or privacy violations? Conversely, how often do you read about the internet being seen as a blessing, or that it has provided ‘an omni-directional flow of transversal and personal communications’?
Well, probably only once, if at all. The quote above is from a speech by the Rev Federico Lombardi SJ, Director of the Vatican Press Office, Vatican Radio and of the Vatican’s television channel (CTV). Fr Lombardi gave this speech in May as part of a lecture for World Communications Day.
The speech (available in two parts: here and here) talks in depth about the changes the press agencies of the Holy See have had to go through in recent years, and starts to talk about some of the changes they will need to go through in years to come.
Interestingly, Fr Lombardi does not recommend the Church forget traditional media in an effort to be seen as being up-to-date with the young people. He instead talks about the “digital divide” and notes that the Church’s responsibility is to reach everyone – not just those who can afford broadband.
But he has some great insights into the traps and challenges of using the internet to spread a message that is often “against the grain”. However, far from being put off by these challenges, Fr Lombardi finishes by calling for us all to “work even harder, so that every day it will be more and more true to say, and so that we might be able to say with greater and greater conviction: the internet is truly blessed!”
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