Sunday, November 6, 2011

Catholic New Media Conference 2011 - People of Good Will

Chelsea, Cheryl, Theresa and Sandy with our new friend Jack
(Carly and Sr Rebecca are keeping busy behind us)

Media is not my thing. 

I know, I know I am thinking of becoming a Daughter of St. Paul so that may be a problem.

I even worked in Technology for several years but I was always the odd person out – I never cared for or wanted the newest phones or technology. I actually refused to get a cell phone until after college when I was a teacher in a not-so-good area in Miami and someone was held up at gunpoint near my classroom, (my door faced the street). I realized it just might be idiotic for me to continue playing the anti-technology card. But I have always been a technology skeptic. 

However, God always has different plans for us than we expect. 

So, when I was told that the postulants were going to the Catholic New Media Conference in Kansas City I was not exactly jumping up and down for joy. I honestly expected to be bored out of my mind with technical gibber gabber. But I ended up finding the conference based more on spiritual matters than minute technical details. The issues that I think are the most important in evangelization were highlighted by all who spoke. First, if the messenger is not fully rooted in Christ, then our Gospel message will be lost in the noise or contribute to the noise on the Internet. And second, even though we all use different mediums for evangelization, it is still of vital importance to develop real relationships with the people we are trying to help bring to Christ. 

            But the thing that moved me the most were the people I met and observed. As I listened to other speakers and attendees at the conference, I realized that many other people working in the new media for the Church have a heart for evangelism, hearts very close to the Pauline charism. In the early 20th century, in a time when thinking about using technology for evangelization was not even in the Church’s mind, Blessed James Alberione, the founder of the Pauline Family, knew that people in the future would unite together to use technology to evangelize the world. This premonition of the founder is found in one of the common prayers of the Pauline Family:

God, to communicate your love to everyone,
you sent your only Son Jesus Christ into the world
and made him our Master,
the Way and Truth and Life of humanity.
Grant that the media of social communication
press, films, radio, television, records and all audiovisuals
may always be used for your glory and the good of all.
Raise up vocations
for this multimedia apostolate,
and inspire all people of good will
to contribute with prayer, action and offerings,
so that through these means
the Church may preach the Gospel to all peoples.

(Blessed James Alberione)

Seeing these people of good will who are already involved in the apostolate that Blessed James Alberione knew would become a reality was truly an inspiration to me. As I listened to them, I realized that although I still can’t relate to wanting the latest iPhone, these people are my brothers and sisters in the heart of the founder. These are the people of good will that Alberione knew would spring up in our time to bring people to Jesus through media. 

I know that Blessed James is up in heaven praying for all of the Pauline family. But now I know he is praying for these people “of good will” who recognize the many souls who are thirsting for God and are in need of the Living Water that we can carry to them so effectively in the 21st century through modern technology.

And now all the postulants will be praying for the wonderful people we met at this conference - that their words and outreach through modern technology will touch the hearts of people all over the world.



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