Spread the Word Using New Media

"A genuine revolution is taking place in the realm of social communications," the Pontiff said to the participants in the assembly, "of which the Church is ever more responsibly conscious."
"These technologies make speedy and penetrating communication possible, with a capacity to share ideas and opinions; to facilitate acquiring information and news in a personal way that is accessible to all," he added. Recalling the two pastoral instructions on the media -- "Communio et Progressio" of Pope Paul VI and "Aetatis Novae" -- the Holy Father called for a further "careful analysis on the presence and action of the Church in this field." http://www.zenit.org/article-27387?l=english&sms_ss=blogger

Enriching Media Culture


The Pontifical Council for Social Communications "has, for some time now, been following the surprising and rapid evolution of the means of communication growing in the involvement of the magisterium of the Church". With these words, Benedict XVI received participants in the plenary assembly of that dicastery, presided over by Archbishop Claudio Maria Celli, which is examining the role of new technologies in the media during these days.

The Holy Father cited Paul VI's pastoral instruction "Communio et Progressio" and John Paul II's "Aetatis Nova", "two important documents that have favoured and promoted greater awareness on the themes tied to communication in the Church".

He also recalled John Paul II's encyclical "Redemptoris Missio" that affirms: "Involvement in the mass media, however, is not meant merely to strengthen the preaching of the Gospel. There is a deeper reality involved here: since the very evangelization of modern culture depends to a great extent on the influence of the media, it is not enough to use the media simply to spread the Christian message and the Church's authentic teaching. It is also necessary to integrate that message into the 'new culture' created by modern communications".

"Effectively, Benedict XVI said, "modern culture is established, even before its content, in the very fact of the existence of new forms of communication that use new languages; they use new technologies and create new psychological attitudes. All of which supposes a challenge for the Church, which is called to announce the Gospel to persons in the third millennium, maintaining its content unaltered but making it understandable, thanks also to the instruments and methods in tune with today's mentality and culture".

At the same time, the Pope referred to his last message for the World Communications Day in which he encouraged "those responsible for communication in all areas, to promote a culture of respect for the dignity and worth of the human being, a dialogue rooted in the sincere search for truth and friendship (...) capable of developing the gifts and talents of each and of putting them at the service of the human community".

"In this way the Church exercises that which can be defined as a "deaconate of culture" in today's "digital continent", using its means to announce the Gospel, the only Word that can save the human being. The task of enriching the elements of the new culture of the media, beginning with their ethical aspects, falls to the Pontifical Council for Social Communications as well as serving as orientation and guide in helping the particular churches understand the importance of communication, which represents a key point that cannot be overlooked in any pastoral plan".

Concluding, the pontiff recalled the 50th anniversary of the Vatican Film Archive founded by Blessed John XXIII, which possesses a "rich cultural patrimony pertaining to all humanity" and he encouraged to continuing collection and cataloguing of images "that document the path of Christianity through the suggestive witness of the image".

President of Signis Catholic Communication Pacific Region

Spreading Catholic Values through the Media: Signis (Signs)
(ANS – Chiang Mai) – The Salesian priest Fr Ambrose Pereira has been elected President of the Pacific Region of the NGO “Signis”. Fr Pereira was elected in the course of the Assembly of the Signis Delegates held on 22 and 23 October, in the context of the World  Congress of the organisation, for years involved in spreading Catholic values through the media. 

Jesus Christ center of thought and action

Pauline Spirituality: Blessed James Alberione, founder of the Pauline Family, had an altogether Christ-centered thought. The dynamic core of every one of its manifestations is found in the expression of the Apostle of the Gentiles: “I live no longer; it is Christ who lives in me” (Gal 2:20). Alberione took Jesus Divine Master as the point of reference of his spiritual life and the fountainhead of his apostolic mission. “You call me Master and you say well, for so I am” (Jn 13:13). “Go, and make disciples of all nations” (Mt 29:19). He learned to grasp the mystery and fullness of Christ in the trinomial of John (14:6): “I am the Way, the Truth and the Life.” At the center of all the thought, prayer and action of his religious family, Father Alberione therefore placed the Christ of these dynamic attributes, as revealed in the Gospel.

Spirituality and Homelessness

Though not many will be able to attend this presentation the inspiriation to reach out to the homeless that recognizes spiritual poverty is something I reflect on often. As Mother Teresa wrote in her letter to Paulines:

"I pray that you will be able to reach out to the spiritually poor whoever they may be, to satisfy their hunger for God, their thirst for peace, so they in turn try to relieve the hunger and homelessness of the poor and needy..." Mother Teresa (1988).

Response of the Traditional Anglicans

And the response of Traditional Anglicans is...

Archbishop John Hepworth, primate of the Traditional Anglican Communion, has issued a statement welcoming Pope Benedict’s decision to permit Anglican communities to join the Catholic Church as communities.

“We are profoundly moved by the generosity of the Holy Father, Pope Benedict XVI,” said Archbishop Hepworth. “May I firstly state that this is an act of great goodness on the part of the Holy Father. He has dedicated his pontificate to the cause of unity. It more than matches the dreams we dared to include in our petition of two years ago. It more than matches our prayers. In those two years, we have become very conscious of the prayers of our friends in the Catholic Church. Perhaps their prayers dared to ask even more than ours.”

Archbishop Hepworth continued:

While we await the full text of the Apostolic Constitution, we are also moved by the pastoral nature of the Notes issued today by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. My fellow bishops have indeed signed the Catechism of the Catholic Church and made a statement about the ministry of the Bishop of Rome, reflecting the words of Pope John Paul II in his letter "Ut Unum Sint" …

Fortunately, the Statement issued by the Archbishop of Canterbury reflects the understanding that we have gained from him that he does not stand in our way, and understands the decisions that we have reached. Both his reaction and our petition are fruits of a century of prayer for Christian unity, a cause that many times must have seemed forlorn. We now express our gratitude to Archbishop Williams, and have regularly assured him of our prayers. The See of Augustine remains a focus of our pilgrim way, as it was in ages of faith in the past.

I have made a commitment to the Traditional Anglican Communion that the response of the Holy See will be taken to each of our National Synods. They have already endorsed our pathway. Now the Holy See challenges us to seek in the specific structures that are now available the "full, visible unity, especially Eucharistic communion", for which we have long prayed and about which we have long dreamed. That process will begin at once. In the Anglican Office of Morning Prayer, the great Hymn of Thanksgiving, the Te Deum, is part of the daily Order. It is with heartfelt thanks to Almighty God, the Lord and Source of all peace and unity, that the hymn is on our lips today. This is a moment of grace, perhaps even a moment of history, not because the past is undone, but because the past is transformed.

The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops also issued a statement welcoming the Vatican announcement. http://www.usccb.org/

Soledad O'Brien explores Latino experience, mixed-race heritage - CNN.com

Soledad O'Brien explores Latino experience, mixed-race heritage - CNN.com

Church opens door to Anglicans who desire full communion

By Mary DeTurris Poust
The Vatican announced today that it will create a structure that will allow large groups of Anglicans to enter into full communion with the Catholic Church, providing "a reasonable and even necessary response to a world-wide phenomenon," said Cardinal William Levada, prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.

Catholic News Agency reports:
"The new canonical structure will allow former Anglicans to enter into full communion with the Church while 'preserving elements of distinctive Anglican spiritual patrimony,' said Cardinal Levada. He added that it will allow married former Anglican clergy to be ordained however, in common with Catholic and Orthodox Churches, married clergy will not be allowed to be ordained bishops."
The Traditional Anglican Communion, a breakaway group that has publicly made known its wishes to unite with Rome, claims to have some 400,000 members. Although the move to open the door to Anglicans seems aimed at the TAC movement, it is not limited to the group.


Media Education is Evangelization

Don Bosco India -

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World Mission Sunday Address of Pope Benedict XVI

VATICAN - World Mission Sunday “is a powerful reminder for every ecclesial community and for each Christian of the duty to proclaim and bear witness before all people to the Gospel,” said Benedict XVI in the Angelus, thanking the Pontifical Mission Societies for their services of animation and formation

On Sunday, October 18, the Holy Father Benedict XVI dedicated his address prior to the recitation of the Angelus with pilgrims in Saint Peter's Square, to World Mission Sunday and the Synod for Africa. These were his words:

“Today, the third Sunday of October, we celebrate World Mission Day, which is a powerful reminder for every ecclesial community and for each Christian of the duty to proclaim and bear witness before all people to the Gospel, especially to those who do not yet know it. In the message that I wrote for this occasion, I was inspired by an expression in the Book of Revelation, which echoes the words of Isaiah’s prophecy: “The nations will walk in his light” (Revelation 21:24). The light that is spoken about is God’s light, revealed in the Messiah and reflected on the countenance of the Church, represented as the New Jerusalem, wondrous city in which the fullness of the glory of God shines forth. It is the light of the Gospel, which orients the path of the nations and guides them toward the realization of a great family, in justice and peace, under the paternity of the one God, who is good and merciful.

The Church exists to proclaim this message of hope to all of humanity, which in our time has “experienced marvelous achievements but which seems to have lost its sense of ultimate realities and of existence itself” (John Paul II, "Redemptoris Missio," 2).

In the month of October, especially this Sunday, the universal Church highlights her missionary vocation. Led by the Holy Spirit, she knows that she is called to continue the work of Jesus himself, proclaiming the Gospel of the Kingdom of God, which “is justice, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit” (Romans 14:17). This Kingdom is already present in the world as the power of love, of freedom, of solidarity, of respect for the dignity of every man, and the ecclesial community feels the force in its heart of the urgency to work so that Christ’s sovereignty be fully realized. All its members and articulations cooperate in such a project, according to the different states of life and charisms.

On this World Mission Day I would like to recall the missionaries -- priests, men and women religious and lay volunteers -- who consecrate their existence to bringing the Gospel into the world, even facing hardships and difficulties and sometimes real persecutions.

I think, among others, of Father Ruggero Ruvoletto, a priest of the Donum Fidei missionaries, recently killed in Brazil; of Father Michael Sinnot, a religious, taken hostage a few days ago in the Philippines.

And how can I not think of what is emerging from the synod of bishops of Africa in terms of extreme sacrifice and love for Christ and his Church? I thank the Pontifical Missionary Societies for the precious service that they give to missionary animation and formation. Furthermore, I invite all Christians to make a gesture of material and spiritual sharing to help the young Churches of the poorest countries.

Dear friends, today, Oct. 18, is also the Feast of St. Luke the Evangelist, who, along with the Gospel, wrote the Acts of the Apostle to narrate the expansion of the Christian message to the ends of the then known world. We invoke his intercession together with that of St. Francis Xavier and St. Thérèse of the Child Jesus, patrons of the missions, and of the Virgin Mary, that the Church may continue to spread the light of Christ among all the nations. I ask you, moreover, to pray for the Special Assembly for Africa of the Synod of Bishops, which is taking place this week here in the Vatican.”

After the Angelus, addressing the faithful in various languages, the Pope recalled once more World Mission Sunday and the Synod for Africa. Lastly, in Italian, he greeted the Clerks Regular of the Mother of God, present for the closing of the 4th centenary of the death of their founder, St. John Leonardi. “Dear brothers, together with you are also the students of all the Colleges of the Propaganda Fidei, accompanied by Cardinal Ivan Dias, prefect of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples, as well as representatives of pharmacists, whose patron is St. Giovanni Leonardi. I exhort all of you to follow him on the path of holiness and to imitate his missionary zeal.” (SL) (Agenzia Fides 19/10/2009)

Links: Complete text of the Holy Father's address, in various languages

St Ignatius of Antioch

Prayer of St. Ignatius of Antioch
I am the wheat of God,
and am ground by the teeth of the wild beasts,
that I may be found the pure bread of God.
I long after the Lord,
the Son of the true God and Father, Jesus Christ.
Him I seek, who died for us and rose again.
I am eager to die for the sake of Christ.
My love has been crucified,
and there is no fire in me that loves anything.
But there is living water springing up in me,
and it says to me inwardly:
"Come to the Father."

Pray the Mission Rosary


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Catholic Church Statistics

FIDES NEWS  16-10-2009

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Links:      Special Mission Sunday 2009: CATHOLIC CHURCH STATISTICS


World Mission Sunday

World Mission Sunday

On World Mission Sunday - October 18 - all Catholics are called to celebrate their vocation to be missionary. On this day, Catholics around the world  here at home and in the Missions gather at the Eucharist around the table of the Lord, to pray for the Church's worldwide missionary work.

The Society for the Propagation of the Faith

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From Family of God to Servants of Reconciliation, Justice, Peace

"From Being “Family of God (evangelizers) to Being Servants (ministers=diakonoi) of Reconciliation, Justice and Peace.” Gathering from Biblical passages, he observed that “in a Church, which is a family in communion, reconciliation becomes not a state or an act, but a dynamic process, a task to be undertaken everyday, a goal to strive after, an unending setting out to re-establish, through love and mercy, broken friendships, fraternal bonds, trust and confidence.”  Speaking of the witness, which in “Ecclesia in Africa” Pope John Paul II exalted as “an essential element of missionary cooperation” to be salt of the earth and light of the world, Cardinal Appiah Turkson mentioned that “ the 'salt' symbol invites the Church-Family of God to accept to expend herself (dissolve) for the life of the continent and its people” and Jesus' expression “Your are the light of the world” expresses the lofty vocation of the disciples, “a call to fulfill, in Christ, Israel’s vocation in the Old Testament to be witness of the light of knowledge of God’s Law (Gospel) and of his salvation in the world.”
Cardinal Peter Kodwo Appiah from the Special assembly in Africa of the Synod of Bishops  http://www.usccb.org/africasynod/
(SL) (Agenzia Fides 6/10/2009)

Year for Priests - The Catholic University of America

"It seems urgent to recover that awareness that has always been at the heart of the Church's mission, which impels priests to be present, identifiable and recognizable both for their judgement of faith, for their personal virtues as well as for the habit, in the contexts of culture and of charity." His Holiness Benedict XVI

World Day of Communication: Pastoral Ministry in a Digital Age

VATICAN - Theme for 44th World Communications Day 2010: “The priest and pastoral ministry in a digital world: new media at the service of the Word.”

Vatican City (Agenzia Fides) – On the liturgical feast of the Archangels Michael, Gabriel, and Rafael, the theme chosen by the Holy Father Benedict XVI for the 44th World Communications Day 2010, was released: “The priest and pastoral ministry in a digital world: new media at the service of the Word.”

As the statement released by the Pontifical Council for Social Communications explains, the main task of the priest is to preach the Word of God become Flesh, a Man, in history, thus becoming a sign of the communion that God establishes with man. The efficacy of this ministry thus requires the priest to maintain an intimate relationship with God, rooted in a profound love and in a living knowledge of the Sacred Scriptures, “witness” in a written form, of the Divine Word. The Message for the 44th World Communications Day is an invitation to priests, especially in this Year for Priests and in the wake of the Twelfth Ordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops, to consider the new communications media as a possible resource for their ministry at the service of the Word. Likewise, it aims to encourage them to face the challenges arising from the new digital culture.

The new communications media, if adequately understood and exploited, can offer priests and all pastoral care workers a wealth of data which was difficult to access before, and facilitate forms of collaboration and increased communion that were previously unthinkable. Thanks to the new forms of media, those who preach the Word of life can do so can words, sounds, and images – the unique vocabulary of the digital culture. Individuals and entire communities on every continent can do so, in order to spread awareness and engage in dialogue to propose a path to communion. If wisely used, with the help of experts in technology and the communications culture, the new media can become - for priests and for all pastoral care workers - a valid and effective instrument for authentic and profound evangelization and communion. They will be a new form of evangelization, so that Christ may come into our cities and onto the threshold of our homes, once again declaring: “'Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will enter his house and dine with him, and he with me” (Rev. 3:20). (SL) (Agenzia Fides 30/9/2009)