A foreword by OLFE staff:
This engaging report, published on April 14 by National Catholic Reporter, begins with a vivid metaphor: Catholic laypersons are meant to be “out on the frontlines” of using media in the mission of New Evangelization. It’s a good and timely point. In fact, the new strategic plan for the Archdiocese of Louisville identifies an explicit “frontlines” goal, with related objectives — Seek out and empower leadership for ministry and evangelization especially by helping catechists, and those in other faith-sharing ministries, to make effective use of social media and methods in their work. This should be done, as a priority, with all ages and in all stages of catechesis. This NCR piece explains more.
Laity called to be on ‘frontlines’ of using media in new evangelization
Laypeople are meant to be “out on the frontlines” of using media in the new evangelization, said a speaker at a panel discussion Monday at The Catholic University of America in Washington.
The panel consisted of leaders in Catholic broadcasting and communications and was held in honor of the 75th anniversary of Archbishop Fulton Sheen’s first televised service on Easter of 1940*.
It was part of a weeklong celebration of the legacy of the 20th-century Catholic evangelist.
Speakers on the panel titled “Media and the New Evangelization” included Fr. Robert Reed, president of the CatholicTV Network of the Boston archdiocese; Basilian Fr. Thomas Rosica, founding CEO of Canada’s Salt and Light Catholic Media Foundation; and Michael Warsaw, CEO of the Eternal Word Television Network.
Following a short video on the life of Sheen, the panel discussed how his example can be used in current efforts to spread the Gospel through broadcast and social media.
“He was America’s priest,” said Reed in discussing the popularity of the archbishop’s prime-time weekly television show, “Life is Worth Living,” adding that while the means of broadcast have changed in scope and nature, “the [evangelical] mission is identical,” even in a world that is “moment-centric and spiritually famished.”
Rosica said he takes away two important lessons from the life and example of Sheen.”The first is that faith cannot be relegated” to private sanctuaries, but that it “can only develop in the public square.” The second lesson, according to Rosica, is that “when faith becomes ideology, it loses its identity,” which he said should remind the faithful how to spread the Gospel to others.
Rosica went on to say that one of the greatest challenges for the new evangelization in a world of ever-changing media is to “tell the ancient story in fresh, new and exciting ways.”
When asked whether the Catholic church had fallen behind other denominations in media utilization in recent years, especially in the age of social media, the speakers emphasized the importance of embracing these means as a new method for creatively sharing the church’s message.
“The challenge is to be creative with new media,” said Reed, whose network now features a game show, “WOW: The Catholic TV Challenge,” and a reality show, “House+Home,” both of which he hosts.
To continue reading this article click here.
Click here to watch an episode of WOW: the Catholic TV Challenge, The Holy Mass.
Click here to watch an episode of House+Home.