The Internet Needs High Quality Catholic Content

by Sr. Susan Wolf, SND on August 30, 2010

in Catholic, ministry, Uncategorized

Catholics (and the Gospel in general) are a feeble voice in the hurricane of media messages generated by a rather out-of-control culture. Many Catholic voices on the Internet seem as poorly informed as they are vocal…
This comment from a respondent to my Getting Started Survey has some truth to it. Not everything that is online and tagged as “catholic” represents the best of the Catholic Church. More importantly, the beauty and treasures of the Catholic faith and mission are underrepresented on the Internet. What can we do about it? Two things for sure: 

1)      Support the gifted Catholic teachers and preachers who are already online.

When we find an authentic and artful Catholic teacher or preacher online, we can support them by:

  • sharing their posts, podcasts, articles or videos on Twitter, Facebook, and other social networking sites
  • commenting on their messages
  • contributing to their discussions
  • subscribing to their site using the RSS feed
  • signing up on their mailing list if they have one

These actions affirm their work and improve their search engine ratings, so that others will find them more easily.

2)      We can invite talented teachers and preachers to get online.

If we look at our parishes, dioceses, catholic organizations and religious communities, we will find people who can write and speak authentically and with authority on the teachings of the Church in ways that are clear and compelling. They are experts in the fields of spirituality, morality, liturgy, scripture, religious education, evangelization, social justice, marriage and family life, stewardship, vocations, sacraments, etc. We have preachers who can inspire us to live our faith more fully by their ability to bring scripture into our lives in such a way that calls for a living response. 

We want these people online if they are:

  • passionate and knowledgeable about their mission and ministry
  • able to articulate an impactful and engaging message
  • committed to producing a post or podcast once a week, a video or slide show at reasonable intervals
  • willing to review their sites weekly and respond to questions or comments as needed

If the teachers and preachers provide the content, people with technology expertise can get it online for them.

If we want more people to use the Internet for mission, we need to get more of our best teachers and preachers online. Look around, speak with your colleagues. Is there someone whom you can you invite to this important ministry? Go to them and make your case.


{ 7 comments… read them below or add one }

Sister Mary Eamon Lyng, SSJ August 30, 2010 at 11:46 am

The offerings of the webinars from PNCEA and Ave Maria Press offer much to the parishes for authentic Catholic teaching and support to parish evangelization.

Dave Pipitone August 30, 2010 at 1:30 pm

I am on the mailing list of Friar Jack’s (Friar Jack Wintz, OFM) E-Spirations newsletter from American Catholic.org of St. Anthony Messenger Press.

I look forward to his messages and often find how timely they are to what’s going on in my life. It’s as if the Holy Spirit is speaking and working through the use of modern technology.

I agree that gifted Catholic teachers and preachers have much to share through on-line channels.

Alishia Hanson August 30, 2010 at 3:26 pm

FYI: My husband recently started a local (to Phoenix) yet universal Catholic blog:
catholicphoenix.com

Nick Senger August 31, 2010 at 12:59 am

My sentiments exactly! We’ve been having a great discussion over at Catholic School Chronicle about the teachers, administrators, and catechists who blog, trying to convince others to join us. Thanks for the great article, and come check out our list.

Marc Cardaronella August 31, 2010 at 1:38 pm

I agree! In fact, I did this a few weeks ago with a priest I know who gives awesome homilies. I told him he should be podcasting. I think the technology was making him a bit fearful…and the time commitment. Actually, it was the time commitment more than anything. Still, I think it’s important that we have more of our best people out there sailing the digital seas.

Kathy September 26, 2010 at 3:17 pm

I have been trying to get some better information about how to podcast. I would really like my priest to agree to podcast his homily, but I know he doesn’t have the time or technical skills, so I would have to help him and although I have a lot of technical skills, this is not one of them. Does anyone know of a good book or tutorial I could use to get up to speed on this?

Sr. Susan Wolf, SND September 26, 2010 at 3:31 pm

Hi Kathy,

It was only a few years ago, when I was asking the same question. I was amazed to find out how easy it actually is to create a podcast. Fr. Dave Dwyer at Bustedhalo.com wrote these two articles that will get you off to a good start. http://www.bustedhalo.com/features/podcasting-for-beginners
http://www.bustedhalo.com/features/how-to-podcast-your-preaching. Also if you just Google–How to Make a Podcast–you will get a number of links to various tutorials.
Good luck and let us know how it works out.

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