Throughout his pontificate, Pope Benedict XVI has called on the faithful to utilize the new media to serve the Church and spread the Gospel. Technological advances continue to open new means of communication, and it is often difficult for those engaged in the world of digital communications to stay ahead of the curve.
In response to the Holy Father’s call, the Thomas More College of Liberal Arts announced today that it is hosting an intensive three-day retreat entitled “Christ & The New Media” for those seeking to spread the perennial truths of the Catholic Church through the new media.
Led by leaders in online journalism, blogging, and digital communications, this program will assist priests and laymen in employing the latest generation of images, videos, animated features, blogs and websites so they can open up broad new vistas for dialogue, evangelization, and catechesis.
Funded by a grant from the Koch Foundation of Gainesville, Florida, the Workshop will be beneficial to both beginners and seasoned professionals as they are taught how to more effectively craft their message, respond productively to those with whom they disagree, fully leverage social networking sites, and more effectively integrate the latest in audio, visual, and text. Moreover, participants will develop life-long friendships with others who are seeking to defend and promote the teachings of the Catholic Church in our age.
The Program will feature lectures and panel discussions by Alejandro Bermudez, editor of the Catholic News Agency; Phil Lawler, Editor of CatholicCulture.org; Tony Assaf, Editor of the Arabic Edition of Zenit News; and John and Ashley Noronha, of H2oNews.org.
“Pope Benedict XVI has called on the faithful, especially priests, to utilize the new media and new means of communication to serve the Church and spread the Gospel,” said Thomas More College President William Fahey. “By bringing together a team of professionals who are among the leaders in this new and developing field, Thomas More College is advancing a valid and effective instrument for authentic and profound evangelization and communion.”
The new media offers a new and deeper means of communicating the perennial truths of the Catholic Church, especially to young people. More than 350 million people read at least one blog every day, and more than 60% of those readers are between the ages of 18 and 44. In fact, according to one recent study, 77% of active Internet users regularly read blogs, and as many are active in social networking sites.
“There exists a tremendous—and largely untapped—opportunity to spread the Gospel through the world of digital communications,” added Fahey. “By attending the Christ & the New Media Program, priests and laymen alike will be better able to employ the latest generation of technology to advance the Church’s mission of evangelization and catechesis.