On March 2, 2014, Our Lady of Lourdes, St. Euphrasia, and St. Mels all from the San Fernando Region within the Archdiocese of Los Angeles will celebrate “Digital Device Sunday.” As a faith community they will learn about how to grow in and share faith this coming Lent using social media or their various digital devices.
Parishioners have been asked to bring their digital devices (tablets, smart phones, etc.) to church on March 2nd and learn how those devices can be tools for growing in faith this Lent. As part of Device Sunday, there will be a blessing of both the digital devices and the social networks of people that will be formed to share faith this Lent.
This Lent the parishioners of these three parishes will have an opportunity to grow spiritually and share faith with others through a variety of digital faith-based initiatives. There are many ways we can be connected to our Lord this Lent both through out traditional practices and digital devices.
- Each parish is developing a Lenten outreach to parishioners of all ages using various forms of social media.
- The regional staff will off an opportunity for an online retreat for busy people.
- Young people, young adults, and families will have the opportunity to share how they are making every day this Lent count for their faith through #40DaysCount where people will be asked to share photos and status updates using the#40Ddayscount.
As part of the C3 pilot sponsored by the Archdiocese, the San Fernando Region and the three parishes St. Mels, Our Lady of Lourdes, and St. Euphrasia are working together to pilot solutions for integrating technology into faith formation and evangelization, as well as how the many communication and collaboration tools may be used to further the gospel mission of the Church.
In a video, that will be played on Device Sunday at every mass, Bishop Wilkerson, the Regional Bishop for San Fernando quoted, Pope Francis who challenged us in his Message on World Communications Day to remember, “The digital world can be an environment rich in humanity; a network not of wires but of people.”
Additionally, he remind us of the importance of the internet in sharing the faith.
“By means of the internet, the Christian message can reach “to the ends of the earth” (Acts 1:8). Keeping the doors of our churches open also means keeping them open in the digital environment so that people, whatever their situation in life, can enter, and so that the Gospel can go out to reach everyone…. today the social networks are one way to experience this call to discover the beauty of faith, the beauty of encountering Christ.
The Bishop warned us to cautious in our endeavors in the digital world, by reminding us of what Pope Francis had to say about challenges of living in a digital connected world.
“This is not to say that certain problems do not exist. The speed with which information is communicated exceeds our capacity for reflection and judgement, and this does not make for more balanced and proper forms of self-expression. The variety of opinions being aired can be seen as helpful, but it also enables people to barricade themselves behind sources of information which only confirm their own wishes and ideas, or political and economic interests. The world of communications can help us either to expand our knowledge or to lose our bearings. The desire for digital connectivity can have the effect of isolating us from our neighbors, from those closest to us. We should not overlook the fact that those who for whatever reason lack access to social media run the risk of being left behind. While these drawbacks are real, they do not justify rejecting social media; rather, they remind us that communication is ultimately a human rather than technological achievement. “
The Bishop specially, asked the parishioners of these three parishes to I am asking join him in daily prayer and reflection by choosing one of the many options for prayer reflection. And, to think about the impact we could have if we reached out with the power at our fingertips to share faith and funny videos. And, to think of the impact each of us could have if we used our mobile devices to share you faith with your family, those you work with or your friends. Finally, he reflected in the video, about the picture attached to this blog, where Christ the Teacher is holding various modes of communicating faith through the centuries. He noted has this has evolved through the centuries and how it continues to evolve today!
If you would like to take time to read the words of Pope Francis as he enlightens and challenges us to live in faith in the digital world that surrounds us, here is the link: