Welcome to our guest blogger, Carmen Cayon!
This year I began a new position as Director of Faith Formation and Evangelization. As I gathered the RCIA team I introduced our blog site; Incarnation Catholic RCIA as a tool we could use to better communicate with each other and with our catechumens.
Our Core Team consists of “Digital Immigrants” and the challenge: how to sell these catechists on the value of a blog site. As I reflected on this challenge, I realized that I am part of the problem. I allow my own fears and bias’ to affect the way I think about blogs. Therefore, part of my work has to be to surround myself with digital natives, those whose way of thinking is not impacted by the same fears that I hold for the new frontier our Holy Father calls the “digital continent”.
Areas that I believe our RCIA blog will help our parish:
- Fosters friendships through continuing dialogue
- Cultivates a sense of community by getting to know each other’s needs better
- Provides a way to communicate our mission as Catholics through continuing catechesis
- Inspires us with the “big picture” by providing a place to post and dialogue about how God communicates his love for us through visible signs.
- Deepens the Catholic identity experience through links to other valid Catholic sites
Being around “Digital Natives” helps me see that the digital continent can be holy ground. We must confront our fears, assess our own biases, and learn from those who have an openness and flexibility toward a new way of being there for one another.
Am I suggesting that we throw out the old ways of communicating; ie, physically gathering each week, emails, sending cards or notes in the mail….absolutely not! Most of our RCIA participants are used to the new way of being community – they “Skype” with their peers regularly, use their cell phones for everything from checking the time to sending instant images of a moment in their day. For this generation, their world is much more interactive that mine was. As noted by Bishop Ron Herzog, USCCB Communication Committee, in his address to the Catholic Bishops at the November 2010 Assembly, “We have to be enculturated. It’s more than just learning how to create a Facebook account. It’s learning how to think, live and embrace life on the Digital Continent.”
This is a new kind of evangelization that our Church is calling us to, we must not ignore it!
Carmen Cayon is the Director of Faith Formation and Evangelization at Incarnation Catholic Church, Tampa, Florida.
Next Week – Online Collaboration & Communication Tools
Photo Credit: Photography by Cayon (c) 2010.
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