Remembering World Communications Day: How can you plug into the life of the Church?
May 8, 2012
HOUSTON — For 48 years — long before terms like "Facebook," "search engine" or "email" injected themselves into our daily lexicon — the Catholic Church has celebrated the work of social communications.
The Second Vatican Council established "World Communications Day" to draw attention to the ways that modern means of communication can form people — and their practice of faith.
Typically celebrated at Catholic parishes across the United States on the Sunday before Pentecost, World Communications Day is marked by a weekend collection for the Catholic Communication Campaign (which funds Catholic communications ministries at national and local levels).
In preparation for World Communications Day, May 20, the Texas Catholic Herald offers 10 ways to engage in communication and connect with the local and universal Church. How can you communicate the faith and preach God's word?
1. Be quiet.
Just as his predecessors, Pope Benedict XVI offers an annual statement on the importance of communications in serving the common good. In his message for the 2012 World Communications Day, the pope focused on "Silence and the Word: The Path of Evangelization." He writes:
"Silence is an integral element of communication; in its absence, words rich in content cannot exist. In silence, we are better able to listen to and understand ourselves; ideas come to birth and acquire depth; we understand with greater clarity what it is we want to say and what we expect from others; and we choose how to express ourselves. By remaining silent we allow the other person to speak, to express him or herself; and we avoid being tied simply to our own words and ideas without them being adequately tested."
The pope challenges us to recognize silence as a part of good communication. Amidst the avalanche of information that saturates our daily living, can you make space for silence to hear God and one another?
2. Like the Archdiocese. Literally.
Did you know the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston has an official Facebook page? Join the conversation about the latest happenings within our local Church by "liking" us at www.facebook.com/archgh. Share in our discussion about why faith matters today.
3. Read the Daily Vine - and tell us what you think.
The Daily Vine, the official news blog for the Archdiocese, features daily posts on upcoming events; videos and photos of the latest news about the local Church; information from the Texas Catholic Conference and U.S. bishops' conference ... and much more! Take a few moments each day to learn what's happening in the Archdiocese — and share your thoughts in the comments section. Check out the latest posts at www.archgh.org/dailyvine.
4. Share your copy of the Texas Catholic Herald.
Is there a story or news item in the Herald that made you think differently about the Church, or inspire you to take action? Consider sharing your copy of the Texas Catholic Herald with a friend, neighbor or colleague as a conversation starter about living faith. (And encourage friends to get their subscription to the official Archdiocesan newspaper by calling 713-659-5461)
5. Talk to your kids about media.
Parents can take a lead in helping their children choose constructive messages from among the many offered by the media. The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops offers a short "Family Guide for Using Media," outlining actions or attitudes that parents can take to lead their families use of media. Visit www.usccb.org/about/communications/family-guide.cfm.
6. Turn on the radio.
The Archdiocesan Radio Ministry produces and distributes Catholic radio programs for local broadcast in English, Spanish and Vietnamese — a testament to the rich cultural diversity of our local Church. The airwaves of several local stations are home to these programs for evangelization. A list of stations and programs is on page 22 of this edition of the Herald. Tune in today!
7. Picture your faith.
Each week, the Archdiocese invites local Catholics to submit a digital photo of a place, person or event that speaks to them about living the Catholic faith in the Archdiocese.
Do you have an image of faith you'd like to share? Submit your digital pictures to email@example.com, along with a short (250-word) write-up about why this image speaks to you about God's action in your life, family, community or Church. A link to the top pick of the week is posted on the home page of the Archdiocesan website, www.archgh.org, every Friday.
8. Get the Good News from the Vatican and the U.S. Bishops.
The Vatican recently launched a robust news site, www.news.va, featuring the latest headlines, video and more from Rome.The U.S. Bishops last year also launched an updated version of their website, www.usccb.org. What do our bishops have to say? Find out on both these websites (and plug into their Facebook and Twitter pages while you're there).
9. Subscribe to the Archdiocesan YouTube Channel.
If you had hoped to be at a press conference announcing news for the Archdiocese or curious to hear a homily from one of the major liturgies in the local Church, the Archdiocesan YouTube channel is for you. Subscribe by visiting www.youtube/archgh and tune into video profiles of local Catholics, our Archdiocesan ministries and more.
10. Visit Cardinal DiNardo's Blog.
Daniel Cardinal DiNardo's blog features his bi-weekly messages to the people of the Archdiocese. More recently, he's written about religious liberty, the season of Easter and his March visit to Rome. His blog also features photos and updates of his work around the Archdiocese. Visit www.archgh.org and find the "Cardinal's Corner" in the bottom right hand side of the home page.