Archdiocese of Chicago

Catholic Chicago Blog

Monday, February 13, 2012

Moving Ministry With Media

By Frank Hannigan

The faster I run the further back I get. Do you ever feel that way? What I’m especially feeling that way about is trying to accept, understand, and integrate social media into the work of the Family Ministries Office.

I have come to accept that social media is here to stay and that millions and millions of Catholics are using it every day, including priests, deacons, bishops, the laity and even Pope Benedict! I understand that for many, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Google+ are real communities that inform, educate, and support the many different groups that exist within each. I also understand that effective ministry begins with meeting people where they are at. Literally speaking, that means being present on FB, because over 750 million people are there!

For me, the difficulty is trying to effectively integrate social media into the workings of the office. Is enough staff time devoted to having an effective social media presence? I wonder what an effective social media presence even is? Can we measure it?

The Internet and social media give us the opportunity to evangelize and catechize on a 24/7/365 basis to people here in the Archdiocese as well as to individuals scattered around the globe. Figuring out how to do that well is worth the effort.

I think I need to keep running.

BTW, “like” us on Facebook!


Tuesday, February 14, 2012 12:31 PM

I remember when I thought of myself as "cutting edge" when it comes to technology. That was over ten years ago. Today innovation moves so fast it's hard to keep up. All we can do is keep on running. For folks like us who feel a step behind, we may not be meeting those to whom we minister exactly where they are. But just give us a few minutes and we'll get there!

Andrew L.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012 7:03 AM

You are right on, Frank, with meeting people where they are living. The internet is allowed in place the Church may not be invited ... more so now than radio. Facebook is known as the third largest country.

As Co-founder of Catholic Men Chicago Southland, an Apostolate of Bishop Perry, our main goal of CMCS for 2012 is to fully develop and expand our presence on the internet through the social media (Facebook, LinkedIn, YouTube, Twitter, texting), with the CMCS blog as its anchor.

We can face the rapidly growing dominance of the social media in our culture in two ways – be afraid of it, or embrace it as a means to efficiently reach more men with our message. We wish to be a trend setter among men’s support groups and choose the latter. Our use of social media is so powerful in a constructive way because it allows us to engage men on a personal basis. They can connect with us when they feel they have the greatest need for support, and do so when they can be the most focused and attentive.

This is especially important for young men who are in the formative stages of becoming husbands, fathers and positive role models in their communities, since use of the social media is their primary mode of communication.

BTW, Frank, 'Like" us on Facebook too:

frank c.