Digital Discipleship: Transforming Ministry Through Technology

Posts tagged ‘Religion’

Earth Day: May 22, 2013

A friend of mine recently sent me a link to a video “Magnificent” with a message “I found this video to help you celebrate Earth Day.”



Easter week I was with members of my religious community, the Sisters of St. Joseph, TOSF for our General Chapter sessions.  We affirmed at that time the statement:

As FRANCISCANS centered on the revelation of the emerging COSMIC Christ, contemplating and celebrating this DIVINE action I our lives.  Our deepest desires are to:

  • BUILD life-giving trusting communities that cherish each one’s personal gifts.
  • EMPOWER one another to live the truth of Gospel values.
  • BOND with others in ever-widening circles of compassion and peace.
  • SPEAK to the Church and to the world from our common understanding that there be no outcasts in our experience of life on this earth.

As I reflect on this statement getting ready to celebrate “Earth Day” I am reflecting on how our church reverences human life and the environment.  You will find excellent resources in the area of Environment on the USCCB website.  Why is the environment important!  It supports our very lives – the air we breathe, the food we eat, and more.  Without the right environment, it would be a challenge to live.

So, on this Earth Day – let us celebrate and give thanks for this wonderful earth.  Some simple ways to share this event with others:

  • Share the video “Magnificent” with others on your Facebook page or simply email the link to them with your message.
  • Find a Climate Change Quote and add it to your Facebook page.  You may wish to use Quozio for this task.
  • If you are teaching or for children in your family, you can find Printable Earth Day Worksheets to print off for your children and take time to talk with them about the importance of caring for the Earth.
  • Take a moment to say a Prayer to Care for Creation.  Personally, I love St. Francis’ Canticle of the Sun.

Of course, if you like this post, just click the “Like” button.  Or take a moment to share how you are celebrating Earth Day with your family, friends, or students.

© 2013 Cerveny.

The Year of Faith


On October 11, 2012 we will formally begin the Year of Faith.  Why?  This date marks the opening  of Vatican Council II – 11 October 1962.  As we celebrate the 50th Anniversary, it is a good time to reflect on our faith and the meaning of New Evangelization.

If you’ve not heard about the USCCB Leadership Institute, I would encourage you to visit this website.  Here you will find…

An exciting new series of webinars focused on the “New Evangelization”. The webinar topics and presenters were approved by the Bishops Committee on Evangelization and Catechesis and the Bishop Chair of the Bishops Committee on Catholic Education. Once posted, participants will be able to access the webinars online. Live Q&A sessions with a presenter panel will be held three times during the year.

The first of the webinar series is “The New Evangelization: Implications for the Church Today” led by Very Reverend James A Wehrner, STD.

As I listened to the presentation, I became aware that in understanding “Evangelization” – what is important is that we are about “Proclaiming the Gospel” to those who have not heard the Gospel, those who have heard the story and need to be nourished day by day, and of course to be in the midst of ecumenical endeavors.

So, how do we evangelize and proclaim the Gospel with new media?  As I listen to each presenter, that is the question that will be in the back of my mind.

After listening to the New Evangelization presentation, I began wondering how Facebook could be used as a new media option for evangelizing others. On February 17, 2012, Melissa Fach posted an InfoGraphic of 2012 Facebook Stats.  When you look at the USA states – 50.3% of our population is using Facebook as a tool to communicate with others.  Many of our Catholic members use Facebook as a social networking tool.

But how can we evangelize with this tool?

FaceBook Stories

A story that I discovered last Fall in Facebook Stories was about a wife of a Protestant Minister who recognized a neighbor’s name on Facebook and began a conversation with him.  It turned out that he was a non-practicing Catholic.  Over several months, she just carried on an informal conversation with him about his family and work.  And then one day she asked – Are you going to any Church?  His response was “no.”

She then invited him to her husband’s Church.  Of course she shared the church website with him and told him more about who they are as a faith community.  A few weeks later, her neighbor friend attends a Sunday Service and begins his journey of belonging to this faith community.

Many of our neighbors are no longer practicing Catholics.  And it appears that there is a 50-50 chance that they are using Facebook.  If you connect with them using this tool, are you willing to be one to carry on the conversation that perhaps may result in their returning to the Catholic faith?

Other examples of how Facebook is being used by Catholic individuals, groups, and organizations are the following:

The Living Water Community posts a daily reflection.

Nativity Catholic Church , has a Facebook group were both parish and non-parish members can ask questions and share what is happening at their church with one another.

The Joliet Diocesan Religious Education Office is using an Information page for ministry in the Diocese of Joliet for Directors and Coordinators of Religious Education and Adult Faith Formation.

James Martin, SJ  – I’m a Jesuit priest, culture editor of America magazine and author of the books “The Jesuit Guide to (Almost) Everything,” “My Life with the Saints,” “Becoming Who You Are” and “A Jesuit Off-Broadway.”

These are just a few examples of how Facebook is being used to share faith with one another using new media. Facebook can be used in this whole process of New Evangelization.  I’m sure that there are many more examples out there.  Would love to hear your story!  How about sharing your story in the comments section of this blog!  Would love to hear from you.

Summer 2011

I’m back after a couple of weeks of giving presentations and getting ready for the Summer Institute for Technology in Ministry that is being held in the Diocese of St. Petersburg, starting next week.  Continue to visit ACyberPilgrim during the summer weeks.  Of course – YOU – are an important part of the blog conversation.  Come and join the conversation during the summer weeks.  Continue to watch for articles that will provide you with ideas to implement in your catechetical ministry.

Summer Opportunities for You

If you are wondering about how you can learn more about technology during the summer, visit the Edutopia website LEARN SOMETHING NEW THIS SUMMER ( )!

Learn Something New This Summer

Yes, the audience for these materials are focused on school educators for every other subject, but religion!  I would encourage you to approach with an open mind!  Remember that educational technology as a field has over 20 years of experience.  However, religious educators were not often part of these earlier conversations.

The result – other subjects offer us “best practices” that we can quickly adapt to meet the needs of students in our religion classrooms.  Go to “Techniques for Teaching Vocabulary to Elementary Students” ( .  Is there anything here that can be applied to religion vocabulary in the classroom?  If not, what has worked for you?  Would you be willing to share these “best practices” with others via this blog?  Just click on “comments” and add your suggestion!

Check out the “2011 Summer Rejuvenation Guide: Ten Teacher Tips for Getting the Most Out of Your Summer ( ).  There may be ONE suggestion that YOU are looking for!

Summer Guide

Copyright ©2011 Caroline Cerveny

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