{ 10 comments… read them below or add one }

Patrice Egging February 28, 2011 at 8:57 am

Sr. Susan,
I enjoy reading your articles very much. Recently, a Catholic Social Network has closed down leaving it’s members in a bit of shock. They are searching for ways to be able to stay connected. Real friendships have formed there. I agree, I don’t see any disadvantages to using social media.

Sr. Loretta Pastva February 28, 2011 at 9:59 am

Sr.Susan,
Right on! We need to take every means to spread the Good News.
Sr. Loretta P

Frank Koob February 28, 2011 at 11:11 am

The leader may be at the disadvantage of not knowing how to

1. get proper members and fans

2. bring about real engagement/interaction. This should not be just another kind of static web page where I give info and others read it, benefit from it without the dynamics possible through this kind of interface.

Frank Koob
DRE, Wheeling, IL

Caroline Cerveny, SSJ-TOSF February 28, 2011 at 12:24 pm

Thank you Sr. Susan for beginning a wonderful conversation about the advantages/disadvantages to using social media websites. I agree that there are more advantages to disadvantages. On November 14, 2010 Zenit released an article titled “Pope: Church Needs Creativity to Reach Digital Age” (See: http://www.zenit.org/rssenglish-30963). One of my favorite comments – “The Church wants to dialogue with everyone in the pursuit of truth, but in order for that dialogue and communication to be effective and fruitful, it is necessary to be on the same frequency, in friendly and sincere environments.” Maybe that is part of today’s issue – are those of us in the Church “on the same frequency?” There are dioceses that forbid their staff to use YouTube, Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. In fact, some dioceses have blocked access to these tools so that they cannot be used in the diocesan offices. The mindset that these tools are NOT too be used is a disadvantage today! Yet, there are dioceses who have stepped forward to guide their staffs in how to use these tools. I so appreciate the St. Petersburg Diocesan guidelines. (Go to http://home.catholicweb.com/dosp/ and click on “News” then “Office of Communications.” Look to the right of the screen for “Resources.” You can then download the PDF file for your review.) Thank you St. Petersburg for being a Guiding Light!

Sr.Maureen February 28, 2011 at 3:01 pm

Thank you Susan for very good reasons for use of Social Network to spread the Good News. It will be exciting when we can get more involved in this ministry as a community.

Andrew March 1, 2011 at 3:52 pm

Good conversation.

I am shocked about the news some diocese forbid its members to use social media. The culture is zooming ahead and if the church wants to be left talk to itself, well, that is what will happen.

A concern I think held by some in the church is losing control of the message. Social media creates a leveling of the playing field, an egalitarianism, to all messages. Conversion has to be made based on discussion, dialogue, even with people who strongly disagree with your point. That requires a different mindset.

I don’t know if all church leaders are open to that. But the world is moving on. And the church can either participate or not.

David Niles March 1, 2011 at 5:02 pm

We view social media as another forum for evangelization. Through Twitter, Facebook and our LinkedIn Group, we’re able to carry our message and witness to new audiences. We’ve also found our Facebook Page a great way to open conversations and remind people of all we have going on. We’ve only scratched the surface, but we believe we’re on the right track.

David Byers March 8, 2011 at 10:07 pm

Dear Sr. Susan:

I would add yet another advantage: social media tools grease the wheels of ministry itself. The Diocese of Salina, Kansas, which I serve as a planning consultant, just installed a new communications and support system called eChancery. It enables me to communicate quickly with the committee charged with directing implementation of the diocesan Pastoral Plan, with the pastors and Parish Life Coordinators, with the diocesan staff, and with the 40 local committees guiding Plan implementation in parishes and groups of parishes across the Diocese. These folks can also communicate readily within their groups and to some extent with members of other groups. It’s really a marvelous tool.

Shame on dioceses that forbid the use of social media. Even if these media weren’t the future–and they are–they make professional life in the Church much easier!

Sr. Chetana April 1, 2011 at 2:44 pm

Sr. Susan,
Thank you for this wonderful article. I enjoy reading your articles. We must make use of the available technological tools to spread the Good News in the 21st century. May i use some of your articles for my project?

Sr. Susan Wolf, SND April 4, 2011 at 9:25 am

Dear Sr. Chetana,

By all means you can use the posts from CWS in your project. Good luck!

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