A few months ago, I wrote on the Year of Faith hoping to surface institutions and individuals who would be using the Internet and social media to call attention to the renewal initiated by the Second Vatican Council 50 years ago and to deepen our understanding of the Catholic faith using the Catechism of the Catholic Church published 20 years ago. Now that the Year of Faith has been officially launched, I have been searching the web for information and inspiration on the Year of Faith.
Some Archdioceses and dioceses such as Milwaukee, Harrisburg and Cleveland have web pages for the Year of Faith. Harrisburg articulated parish goals for the Year of Faith and published the implementation plan given by the parish of St. Catherine Laboure.
I did searches on the Year of Faith on YouTube, Twitter and Facebook and did not find too much worth sharing. It is early in the year, but I am concerned that the Year of Faith will be either just another theme-of-the-year come and gone with little impact or an in-house renewal taking place in communities unwilling or unable to communicate our faith or even our faith activities over the Internet and through social media to those who may be searching for people, places, or events that can bring deeper spiritual meaning to their lives.
Our Internet and social media sharing on the Year of Faith does not have to be a dramatic major project. It can be a simple affirmation of the gift that our faith is to us and can be for others. My community’s Facebook team will be making a weekly post on the Year of Faith drawing from the documents of Vatican II and the Catechism of the Catholic Church. We will also be doing four Year of Faith sweepstakes with prizes to call attention to this event on our Facebook page. It takes some research and a little effort to make these things happen, but if everyone does something, the Year of Faith can have a much larger presence in the digital world.
We do not have to be adding a lot of new projects, but carrying out our usual activities with a deeper faith perspective. As we do that, we need to say it out loud, in print and on social media. Year of Faith should not just be a theme; it should be a key phrase that shows up again and again in our conversations, preaching, publications and postings. That is one concrete way that we can create a positive unifying “buzz,” enthusiasm, and hope for our Church community going forward. This is an opportunity to be positive about our faith, let’s take advantage it.
What do you think? Am I making too big a deal of this? Is there more Year of Faith activity on the Internet than I have found? Please tell us what you have found.