Today I did something that I rarely, if ever, do.
I opened up my Google Documents Folder.
To my complete surprise I have a document stashed away, which I had evidently put aside when Google Documents first came out and I briefly considered using it.
It ws during the Dark Age, after Katrina, and I had forgotten all about it.
Except, er… it asks about the Message for 44th World Communications Day, which was last May.
Oops. Oh my… that was during a different Dark Age, the one after St. Catherine’s. I’ll have to get these time lines and Dark Ages straightened out.
Here at last are my answers to whoever asked me these questions. And I do apologize for not recalling who you are. I promise it won’t happen again.
Why did you decide to share your faith in internet? How much time do you spend working on it and how many people you think read your blog?
I decided to share my Faith on the internet back in 2002. I had read a weblog on blogger and thought it would be fun to have one and to be a part of St. Blog’s Parish. So I joined Blogger, pre-Google, and even have a Blogger-Pro sweatshirt somewhere. I hope it’s collectible one day.
Why? I enjoy the internet and consider it an amazing place to learn, to meet people, to share ideas, to experience and to express creativity. When we share our Faith we are sharing ourselves; even if it is just by example.
I don’t spend a lot of time working on my blog, and that’s painfully obvious. However, last year I went through the whole consideration of whether or not to blog, whether or not to have a website at all.
That’s a long story.
Point being, I’ve been giving it a lot more consideration and have been praying about what I should do with it.
How many people read my blog? Some of my friends who are internet savvy keep up with it, and my traffic logs tell me that hundreds of unique visitors spend time here each month. It’s not quite a thousand, but who can blame anyone for being gun shy when it comes to my blog? One never knows if it is going to have new content or even exist from one day to the next. So, I decided to just go with it and blog.
With God as my witness, I will never accidentally erase comments or delete my blog again!
That was a long question.
Do the priests use internet for evangelization enough nowadays? Is it priest’s duty to do this, or more the duty of laymen?
Priests do use the internet for evangelization to a great degree. Let’s face it, it comes down to whether or not one wishes to spend time writing. Some Priests have no desire to write, yet they do have great websites for their Parishes, and/or put Homilies and Bulletin letters up. Blogging can take up a lot of time, whereas having a well maintained website with a few thoughtful articles is being done by many Priests.
Priests and the laity both have the obligation to use the internet for evangelization. By the simple fact that there are much more of the laity than there are numbers of Priests, it stands to reason there should be some excellent work done by the laity in the realms of blogging, web development, etc.
Why is it important to have priests who could spread the Gospel through internet? What a priest should be that he would be able to do this effectively?
Well, initially I thought it would be a good place to share Homilies, and for my family and some friends to keep in touch with me. As time has gone by, we’ve all seen the contributions which blogging Priests are able to make to society.
It’s a good witness to people, who may come across a Priests website or blog and be able to learn more about the lifestyle, the writings, the thoughts, of a Priest. Internet research and interaction is a trend that not going to diminish; it is only going to grow exponentially. So, we should make sure that Priests, the Church, the Gospel of Jesus Christ all have a presence in cyberspace. If we’re not there, who do you think will be rapidly and gladly filling up the void?
Is it really possible to reach young person through internet and to help him become faithful?
Yes. It is.
Of course, it depends on the young person, and on every other factor that might be involved. But sure, it’s possible.
I started researching vocations by looking on the internet back in 1996. The only person who answered my e-mails was the Vocations Director in Los Angeles. He must have been an INFP; tech savvy and a writer to boot. But he answered all of my questions and encouraged me in the right directions all via e-mail. It was wonderful. I hope to find out who he was one day so I can thank him.
Maybe you had any experiences?
Many young people have mentioned that they read my blog. I do pray for them.
Priests are usually very busy people. To spread the gospel through internet takes a lot of time and knowledge. How a priest can harmonize the need to serve for people in the real life and in the internet?
Well again, it boils down to what a Priest wants to do with a blog or a website, and how much time have to put into the project. Canonically speaking, the internet and cyberspace have obviously never been addressed. So a Priest’s obligations are obviously best spent addressing the concerns of his particular assignment. A blog an either fit into that schema, or be a hobby that one pursues when one can. For me it’s always had to be more of a hobby, until recently. In fact, just the other day I … well, never mind.
As for knowledge, Priests spend years studying Theology and Philosophy, and writing lenghty research papers. Hopefully there’s no shortage of theological know-how, or the ability to look it up in proper sources.
As for web-publishing, it’s a snap these days, with imagery, video, et cetera, et al to boot.
What do you think about “MESSAGE OF HIS HOLINESS POPE BENEDICT XVI FOR THE 44th WORLD COMMUNICATIONS DAY”? What were your thoughts or expressions reading this document?
It’s a beautiful address. It also addresses some of the issues which you are asking in this interview. It does not get into the nitty gritty aspects of exactly how Priests should find the time to be present Pastorally on the internet, but it is a compelling and sober proclamation of the Priestly call to live in Truth and to utilize all means to spread the Gospel.
So, whoever asked me these questions… Thank you for your patience. Now, who are you again?