Seek and You will find: Evangelizing via Geocaching
Everybody loves a treasure hunt, so why not seek treasures at local Catholic churches?
Diane Kledzik of the Diocese of St. Petersburg, FL, did just that, spearheading a project that used “geocaching” and six local Catholic parishes. Using a local resource that highlights areas of religious and historical significance throughout the diocese’s five counties, she identified sites that could be mapped out for a handheld GPS device.
According to the website, http://www.geocaching.com, geocaching is a real-world outdoor treasure hunting game. Players try to locate hidden containers of all different sizes by using their GPS device and share their experiences online.
Pastors and parish managers gave Diane permission to place these caches on parish property. “This project was planned to connect a favorite family pastime that I wanted to learn more about technologically with the evangelizing potential of the Catholic Driving Pilgrimage. I thought it would be great if people who have never known about these spiritually and historically significant locations would discover them while enjoying a great hobby,” she said.
The coordinates for each site were uploaded to the website, with descriptions of each location. And soon, hunters were on their way.
“There is so much to discover at these locations,” Diane said, “and I hope seekers spend time in each area and are open to finding treasures that may not be easily tracked or anticipated.”