Taking Christ into the digital ‘streets’

HUNTINGTON, Indiana, August 19, 2014 – For Catholics to follow Pope Francis’ call to take their faith outside of churches and personal comfort zones and into the streets, they must embrace social media to really make Christ’s presence felt far and wide in today’s world.  In Transforming Parish Communications: Growing the Church through New Media (Our Sunday Visitor, 2014) Catholic media expert Scot Landry shows Catholics how to take the Gospel everywhere – using Facebook, Twitter, email, blogging, and more.

According to Landry, nearly every non-practicing Catholic in the United States is likely connected with at least one engaged Catholic — and is perhaps one “retweet” or “like” away from him or her. “My goal is to inspire all parishes and parishioners to use new media as a central tool of evangelization, he says. 

Pope Francis asked recently, “Are we still a Church capable of warming hearts …of leading people …home?”   (Meeting with the Bishops of Brazil -- July 27, 2013). Francis calls Catholics to New Evangelization in a radical missionary way.  “The Church must be taken into the streets, shaking up the comfort, self-satisfaction and clericalism of a Church closed in on itself,” says Francis.

Landry asserts that many Catholics are more comfortable sharing their faith online than in person, but likely need pointers and encouragement to be most effective. So he gives readers – from pastors, to parish leaders, to lay Catholics – the rationale, tools, and motivation to reach out using social media. Catholics can become “digital missionaries” with the ability to relate the Gospel to people in the next cubicle, next town, or across the world. Landry’s own background as cabinet secretary for Catholic media for the Archdiocese of Boston, as well as his business experience, gives him unique perspective and passion to help parishes create an integrated outreach that will make a difference in people’s lives.

“In this book, Scot Landry explains why it is critical for parishes, as hubs of the New Evangelization, to embrace new media.  He indicates what the essential new media tools are for parishes today, shares practical strategies for how to implement them, and describes how these tools can transform parish communications.  I am confident that Scot’s practical wisdom, passion for evangelization, and enthusiasm for new media will help parish leaders overcome any hesitancy about embracing these new methods.  We would like all parishes to have a program for engaging those on the digital continent and leading them to be transformed by the grace of the Sacraments and the love of the Christian community within the Church.”  -- Cardinal Seán O’Malley, Archbishop of Boston, from the Foreword.

“I have always believed that the struggle is not between new and old evangelization but good and bad evangelization. Good evangelization relies on good communications and a Catholic understanding of broadcasting, social media, and how we reach people in the 21st century. This book is an outstanding guide to that process and is essential reading if we are to move forward as Catholics in the modern age.” --Michael Coren, author and broadcaster.

Transforming Parish Communications will help parishes apply this gift of the Internet, in particular new media, through practical yet purposeful ways.  This book is a tool that has the potential to transform parish life and have an even broader impact on the New Evangelization.” -- Teresa Tomeo, author and syndicated Catholic talk show host

###

For an interview with Scot Landry, please contact Christine Valentine-Owsik at: (215) 230-8095 or cowsik@osv.com