Vatican official encourages Our Sunday Visitor in new media
At a Sept. 28 dinner celebrating Our Sunday Visitor’s 100th anniversary, Archbishop Claudio M. Celli emphasized the crucial role of new media in evangelization.
Greg Erlandson, president of Our Sunday Visitor’s publishing division, told CNA that the Vatican official’s remarks were seen as “certainly encouraging for what we’re doing, and what other Catholic publishers are doing.”
During the celebration, Archbishop Celli told the crowd, “It is not enough to ask how we can use the new media to evangelize; we must begin by appreciating how radically our way of living has been transformed by new technologies and how the media environment or landscape has changed.”
The dinner at the Grand Wayne Convention Center followed a Mass at the cathedral in Fort Wayne. Archbishop Celli serves as president of the Pontifical Council for Social Communications.
He focused on the challenges the Church faces as she seeks to evangelize through the new media, and remembered the founder of Our Sunday Visitor, then-Father John Noll, as someone who would today “be at the forefront of the New Evangelization.”
Archbishop Celli suggested that the “new” in “new evangelization” is both “the situation in which we find ourselves” and “the response that is required if we are to be faithful to our abiding mission” to foster encounter with Christ.
People’s constant access to instant information and communication represents a paradigm shift in “the very culture of communication,” he said.
Erlandson noted that as part of this paradigm shift, Our Sunday Visitor has a social media manager “using Twitter, Pinterest, Facebook” and that those conversations get shared “internally as well as happening externally.”
Archbishop Celli pointed to the changing nature of internet culture, one that is now more focused on dialogue and interaction than on monologue. He said that while the Church should continue to focus on the content of faith, she must also look to the concerns and questions of her online audience.
He noted that developing “dialogical forms of teaching and presentation” were anticipated by Archbishop Noll, who promptly replied to every letter he received. [More]