Digital Discipleship: Transforming Ministry Through Technology

Posts tagged ‘Pope’

We have a Pope!

I was home today when I received a call from a friend that there was “White Smoke”.

Within seconds I turned on the TV and with the world, I was waiting to be greeted by our new Pope.  As I watched the audience in the square, there were numerous people holding up iPads, cell phones, and digital and video cameras as they recorded the announcement of “Habemus Papam” and the first greeting to the world by our new Pope Francis!

Within minutes, people were tweeting, emailing, blogging and announcing to their family, friends, and colleagues the historical event they were witnessing at this moment.  Of course, the media giants were there as well.  Yet, every one of us today has the capability (if we want) to communicate to our friends and families the top story of the day!  What a wonderful and incredible world we live in!

If you were paying attention to the tweets, you would have noticed that there were tweets from President Barack Obama, Cardinal Dolan, Catholic Sun, John L. Allen, Jr., Father Shane Johnson, CBS News, and everyday folks like you and me.  Regardless of where you were at – in Rome, in the USA, in South America, in Africa or wherever – the whole world was sharing and chatting with one another.


And this evening (3/13/13) I used Google Images to see what photos I could find about our new Pope.  Of course, these images were downloaded to a variety of locations, and yet within a short period of time, they were e-catalogued and available to the world! Here they are…


Within minutes, there are photos, comments by others, and more available online for others to view and read.  Even his first remarks are available to the world to go back and read, especially if you missed this historic moment.


I was especially moved by his reflection–

Now let’s begin this journey, bishop and people, this journey of the church of Rome, which is the one that presides in charity over all the churches — a journey of brotherhood, love and trust among us. Let us pray for one another. Let us pray for the whole world that there be a great brotherhood. I hope this journey of the church that we begin today — and I will be helped by my cardinal vicar, here present — will be fruitful for the evangelization of this so beautiful city. (Pope Francis)

We have the capability today, to be brothers and sisters to one another despite the geographic distances that we often allow to separate us.  We truly can be Digital Disciples, evangelizing one another in ways we have never imagined before!

5 Digital Projects: The Election of Our Pope

The news we heard on Tuesday, January 11, 2013 that the Pope has chosen to resign raises the question – What’s next?  Of course, the Cardinals will be gathering soon in Rome to carefully discern who is being called to serve our church in this leadership position.

For our children, this is a wonderful time to talk about leadership in our church.  And in this blog post I will suggest a variety of ways to engage our Digital Natives to learn more about the process of electing our next Pope and to get to know more about him after his election.

Here are five suggestions that will engage our Digital Natives to learn more about this historic moment in our Church:

  • Host an online Scavenger Hunt: Sign-up for a 30-day free trial at Quia so that you will have access to the Scavenger Hunt Activity.

Choose links that you would like to use for the Scavenger hunt.  Here are a few you may wish to use:

What is a Conclave

Electing a New Pope Draws on Tradition and Secrecy

10 Facts About Picking the Next Pope

Who are our US Cardinals?

How are Bishops chosen?

Pope Benedict has resigned – What Happens Next?

Will the cardinals elect a Black Pope?

Contenders In Line to Be Pope

Determining the Top Candidates for the Position

The 117 Cardinals Who Will Choose the Pope

Best Resources for Learning About the Next Papal Election

USCCB Papal Transition Graphics and Downloads

Who Runs the Vatican After the Pope Steps Down?

Electing a Pope Resources for Schools

Video: How Do They Choose the Pope?

Here is an example of an online Scavenger Hunt created with the Quia Tool.



  • Create a WORDLE of qualities that are important for our next pope to have.  Break out your class into small groups of 3 or 4 students.  Direct them to read the article – Which Qualities Cardinals Will Look For in the Next Pope . Invite them to list the qualities and to include qualities that they feel are important for the next Pope to have.  Once they have their list completed.  Send them to WORDLE to create a Word Cloud of these qualities.
  •  Create a 30-second spot using Animoto : Direct your students to Flickr .  Before they search for photos, ask your students to create a “script” to answer the question –  What Can I Do in Rome while waiting for the Pope to be elected – See: Tourist Info .   For example a 30 second spot could focus on visiting the Sistine Chapel or the Vatican Museum.


  • Create a virtual poster using Glogster : Once a new pope has been elected, locate 2,3, 4 or 5 websites about the new Pope.  Invite your students to create a virtual poster about their new Pope using these websites to research more about this person.  You may want to share a suggested outline for what needs to be included on the poster.  For example: A photo of him, a brief biography of his life, and any other point you would like your students to be aware of.
  • Create a PhotoBook about the New Pope using Mixbook :  Another way for the students to learn more about our new pope – create a Digital Photo Book about him.  Invite them to tell the story of this man from the time he was born until now – including what they are learning about his election.  You may want to involve a small group of students to search for the websites that you will refer all students to use for this project.  This way you can determine the best websites to use for background research about the new Pope. This may also be a good time to talk about credible, reliable, and non-biased websites.

If you like these suggestions, please click the “Like button.  We’d also like to hear your ideas for digital projects during this time of electing our new Pope.  Share the stories of what your students have created or add your suggestions in the “comment” section of this blog.

Copyright 2012 Caroline Cerveny, SSJ-TOSF

Words of Wisdom and Welcome!

Bishop of Orlando, Florida

Bishop John Noonan

On Tuesday, at INTERACTIVE CONNECTIONS, we were welcomed by Bishop John Noonan to the Diocese of Orlando, with these wonderful welcoming words:

Welcome to the Third Interactive Connections Conference!  I am grateful for the presence of pilgrims such as yourselves in our Diocese of Orlando, especially when you graciously visit to become more skilled and enlightened ministers of the Gospel. I understand some of you hail from throughout the United States, including our neighbors in the Diocese of St. Petersburg, Florida.  Some of you are visiting from Japan, and my own native Ireland. I pray you find the Spirit of the Lord upon you throughout your learning and sharing experiences during the Conference.

Pope Benedict XVI said in his homily for the Solemnity of Mary, the Mother of God, “I would like to underline the fact that, in the face of the shadows that obscure the horizon of today’s world, to assume responsibility for educating young people in knowledge of the truth, in fundamental values and virtues, is to look to the future with hope. And in this commitment to a holistic education, formation in justice and peace has a place.”

Today, you have an extraordinary opportunity to explore the tools of technology as wondrous gifts of the Lord to form our young people with a message of justice and peace.  Our young people are growing up in a world that has become smaller, where contacts between each other and different cultures and traditions are constant.  As Pope Benedict also said, “For them, now more than ever, it is indispensable to learn the importance and the art of peaceful coexistence, mutual respect, dialogue and understanding.”

In a young person’s world where technology is ever present, I encourage you to spread the Good News through its use.  Bring them a message of justice and peace.  Show them how this message can be communicated and how these tools, which are God-given, can also be sacred vehicles to bring about joy and good will and alleviate pain and suffering. Integrate grace and culture, technology and media.

Technology cannot replace the presence of each other with each other.  It cannot offer the feel of a person’s hand upon yours; nor strength of arms to hold you; nor the widening of our faces into a smile as you reach out to greet another.  When we use technology to glorify the Lord, it blossoms relationship and draws us closer still to our God.

My Sisters and Brothers in Christ, may we at all times bless the Lord God, and ask Him to make all our paths straight and to grant success to all our endeavors and plans.

Thank you Bishop Noonan for welcoming us to your diocese!  We are becoming Digital Disciples!

Tag Cloud