The new media and the new evangelization

Msgr. Paul Tighe, secretary to the Pontifical Council for Social Communications of the Vatican, addresses a workshop Aug. 12 at the C3 Technology Conference at Loyola Marymount University. Msgr. Tighe’s Aug. 13 keynote talk and more information about the conference will appear on The Tidings’ website and in the Aug. 22 issue. — Credit: VICTOR ALEMAN

This week, we held our annual C3 Technology Conference at Loyola Marymount University.

You can read more about the conference elsewhere in the pages of this week’s Tidings and online at Angelusnews.com.

For me, this conference is another sign of how important new technologies are for our mission of the new evangelization.

Our Holy Father Pope Francis has been calling us to find new ways to evangelize using these new media, such as Facebook and Twitter.

And following the Holy Father’s example, these social media have become a part of my daily ministry.

My goal in using these channels is to make connections with people, to build friendships and community, to address peoples’ spiritual needs, and to nourish their faith.

And there have been some extraordinary moments. Earlier this year, for instance, a note I posted on Facebook about the value of the Rosary was shared and viewed by more than 1.5 million people.

Other offices and agencies in the archdiocese are also making daily use of these new media.

Our goal in our archdiocesan media ministry is evangelization, broadly defined. We want to provide solid news and information about the Church. We want to share the Church’s teachings and social doctrine and the Catholic vision for our society and culture.

In every age, the Church is called to go where people are to share the Gospel. And in our age, we find more and more people are spending more and more time in the virtual communities created by the Internet.

We are living in the first generation where the Internet, computers, mobile phones and social networking media such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram are a “given” part of ordinary daily reality.

So the Church needs to have a strong presence in this digital culture. And because all of us have a responsibility for the Church’s mission, we all have a responsibility for using these new technologies to share our faith.

We need to raise up a new generation of evangelists who are able to use these technologies to meet people and to find new ways to express the heart of the Gospel — the message of mercy, the message of salvation.

Our task is to find ways to create what Pope Francis calls “a culture of encounter” in this digital space.

We know people are using these new social networks and digital channels to search for meaning and hope; for connections and community.

So Catholics need to be there to listen to what people are talking about — to hear their desires, doubts and hopes. We need to be there to find ways to enter into a dialogue.

Everything we do in this field — blogging, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, all of it — it’s all about bringing people to Jesus. It’s all about bringing people to the true encounter with Jesus Christ. To the reality of the living God who loves us, who forgives us, who cares for us like a Father.

It’s important to remember that these new technologies are a “means.” They are not the “end” or the goal of our evangelization.

They are new tools to serve the mission of the Church.

The goal of our mission in this digital environment is the same as the Church’s mission in every age and every place.

We want to move people from a “virtual” community to a real encounter with Jesus Christ. To a true sharing in his life through the Sacraments, and to authentic human relations with our brothers and sisters in the Church, which is the family of God.

So let us pray this week for the grace and courage to proclaim the Gospel in our culture.

Friday is the holy day of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary. So let’s remember to give thanks for the beautiful hope that we share as Christians — the hope of eternal life.

The day of the Assumption is also special for me because it is the anniversary of my ordination to the priesthood. So I ask your prayers for me on that day as I thank God for the great privilege and joy of my vocation.

Also this week, we need to pray for our Holy Father Pope Francis as he makes his pilgrimage this weekend to share the Gospel with the people of Korea.

And finally, we need to keep our persecuted brothers and sisters in Iraq in our prayers. In the social media, you can learn more and show your support through the Twitter hashtags: #Iraq and #PrayForPeace. May God strengthen them — and may our leaders and the world community do more to come to their assistance.

Let us entrust all of these intentions to our Blessed Mother Mary, who by her Assumption shows us God’s loving heart and his plan for his human family, that all be cared for as his children and destined for eternal life with him.

 

Archbishop Gomez’s CPA Award-winning book, “Immigration and the Next America,”is available at the Cathedral Gift Shop (www.olacathedralgifts.com/immigrationandthenextamericarenewingthesoulofournation.aspx). Follow him at www.facebook.com/ArchbishopGomez.


Voices

Iowa and us in a Year of Mercy

Kathryn Jean Lopez

It was in the general-purpose room of St. Francis of Assisi Church in West Des Moines that Donald Trump made his last pitch to Iowa voters, inside a caucus room. He wanted to make sure people remembered that not only will he build the wall on our border with Mexico, but that he’s the only candidate who will make Mexico pay for it.

Events

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February 6, 2016

  • Saturday, February, 6

    Second Annual Sisters of Notre Dame Nun Run 5K & 1-Mile Fun Run, 8 a.m., Hosted by the Sisters of Notre Dame and La Reina High School and Middle School in Thousand Oaks. Course starts on Dover Avenue in Thousand Oaks and finishes in front of La Reina School. Open to runners and walkers of all ages and ability levels. Professional chip timing technology will be provided to 5K runners by Vendurance Sports. Participants will receive a free T-shirt (while supplies last); pancake breakfast available after the race. Pre-registration is $35 per person for the 5K, and $25 for the 1-Mile. All proceeds support the Sisters of Notre Dame Life and Ministry Fund, allowing the sisters to continue their ministries in Los Angeles and Ventura counties. For more information, contact Chloe Vieira at cvieira@sndca.org, or visit sndca.org/nunrun. 

    Math Competition for Middle School Students & Problem-Solving Workshop for Teachers, 7:45 a.m., Don Bosco Technical Institute, 1151 San Gabriel Blvd., Rosemead.A mathematics competition for fifth through eighth grade students. The 44th annual event will offer awards for the highest scoring individual and teams. Participants must register by Feb. 2 atwww.boscotech.edu/events. Space is limited. The cost is $8 per individual and $5 per person for teams of four or more, up to 15. Check-in begins at 7:45 a.m.; one-hour test starts at 9 a.m. Free activities offered and food available for purchase. Award ceremony follows the competition at 11 a.m. For more information, contact Valeria De Luna at MathCompetition@boscotech.edu.

     

    San Fernando Regional Day of Prayer for the RCIA, 1 - 4:30 p.m., St. John Baptist De La Salle Church, 16555 Chatsworth St., Granada Hills. An afternoon of prayer for those who will celebrate the Rite of Election and Call to Continuing Conversion this Lent. Catechumens, candidates, sponsors and team members will come together in prayer with Bishop Joseph V. Brennan. To register or for more information, contact Sandy Cole at (818) 368-1514 or dre@sjbdls.org.

     

    Second Annual Valentine's Dinner/Dance, 7 p.m., St. James School - O'Gorman Center, 4625 Garnet St., Torrance.Dance music from the 50's to the present; $20 per person. Proceeds will benefit our seminarians. For more information, call the parish office at (310) 372-5228, or Ely at (310) 944-3355.  

     

    Snowflake Swing Dinner/Dance, 6 p.m. to midnight,St. Francis of Assisi Church, 1523 Golden Gate Ave., Los Angeles. Great food, door prizes and dancing (assorted music), featuring the LA Trio. Tickets $25; RSVP by Feb. 2. For reservations, call Liza at (323) 664-1305 or Renee at (213) 413-3036. 

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