I've been the road warrior this week and usually have no problems blogging from the road but this time, I had little means of access to the internet in California and what little I had I used during my workshop for priests and deacons. By the time I got to Albany (after a red eye flight and an Amtrak train) I was clearly exhausted and had to get right to work by presenting at the Diocese's Faith Formation workshop.
In short what I do at these things is present how media can be used in ministry. I more or less advocate for the minister here and not really for technology. The idea is not to create another Busted Halo ® Website but to use different types of media to accentuate ministry that you're already doing as a pastoral minister. One participant was our good blogging friend Fran Rossi Szpylczyn (I'd like to buy a vowel) from St Edward's Blog Who I'm pictured with here and whose picture I stole without so much as asking.
Then on Monday night I led a session called Faith & Social Networking: Using Blogs, Facebook & Twitter for Faith Formation, Community Building & Evangelizing. In some grace-filled miracle world, 20 people found their way to my room and attended. If you read this blog you know how important I think that social networking is for faith.
Yes it can be all too postmodern and isolating... if you let it. Since God uses all things for good, that means this is used for good too.
To that end, there is website for young Catholic adults (all are welcome however - denomination and/or age not a problem!) listed on the blog sidebar to the right; it is called Busted Halo. The co-founder of that site is also an author of a book called Googling God, Mike Hayes. He also has a blog called Googling God, also on the sidebar here.
In any case, Mike was the featured speaker yesterday and I was thrilled to meet him. This man has more vitality and energy around how to reach and influence young Catholics than just about anyone I have ever met.
Fran is now hired as my agent.
With all seriousness intact, it's always my honor to go and to speak with people who have dedicated their very lives to Christ and the church. Most importantly I see the dilemma that they see--that young adults are not making the church part of their lives anymore. So what to do? I think my job is to show that young people are still inspired by things in the world and it's our job as ministers to make the connection back to the message of Jesus and the traditions of Catholicism.
Not an easy task but the groudswell is forming.