That was part of the message of the 44th World Communications Day, issued by Pope Benedict XVI Jan. 24.
"The world of digital communication, with its almost limitless expressive capacity," the Holy Father said in his letter, "The Priest and Pastoral Ministry in a Digital World: New Media at the Service of the Word", "makes us appreciate all the more Saint Paul's exclamation:
The letter was written with the Year for the Priest in mind, but the Pope mentioned all consecrated people as well:
"Consecrated men and women working in the media have a special responsibility for opening the door to new forms of encounter, maintaining the quality of human interaction, and showing concern for individuals and their genuine spiritual needs. They can thus help the men and women of our digital age to sense the Lord's presence, to grow in expectation and hope, and to draw near to the Word of God which offers salvation and fosters an integral human development."
One of the biggest changes for Catholic religious organizations nowadays is that with a blog or website, the community's message reaches out beyond those whom they meet in person, to a much wider audience - the whole world. With Google Analytics, visitors can be tracked from Canada, Australia, the Philippines, Nigeria, India, and other places where English is spoken.
The Pope, who now has a YouTube channel, said also in his letter, "In this way the Word can traverse the many crossroads created by the intersection of all the different 'highways' that form 'cyberspace,' and show that God has his rightful place in every age, including our own."
For Catholic communities who want to launch or expand their internet presence, contact Kevin J. Banet, of Vocation Promotion, at 708-393-4098. Vocation Promotion is a project of TreeFrogClick, Inc., a web communications company founded in 2003 and which is headquartered in the Chicago, USA area. Go to http://www.vocationpromotion.com.
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Vocation Promotion is a service that helps Catholic religious communities reach out via the internet to reach new potential priests, brothers, sisters and all consecrated persons.