Bloggers Unite to Spread Faith
by Tanya LeSane
“As director of religious education for a small inner-city parish, Holy Rosary Catholic Church, it is hard to catechize the people in our parish,” said Tanya LeSane. “Most people who are members do not live within the parish boundaries. They attend Mass on Sunday, but are not able to come back for any faith formation opportunities. How do you help these parishioners know their faith so they can embrace the New Evangelization,” put forth by Popes Benedict XVI and Francis?
Pope Francis suggests using social media. “Well, to me this is almost like learning a foreign language. I did not grow up using social media. But that is not an excuse for not embracing this technology,” Tanya said. She enrolled in Digital Discipleship Boot Camp and came away intent on having a book discussion blog. She did her research and set up an online blog.
Next, she set out to get an audience, selecting people to serve as her pilot group. She sought diversity in age and technological expertise. She held one face-to-face meeting so the bloggers could have training and meet one another.
The first blog discussion, based on theapostolic exhortation, The Joy of the Gospel, went for five weeks and “we had excellent responses and discussions,” she said. “Insights were gained and I believe people grew in their faith. I did a survey at the end of our book group and the majority of the participants felt they had gained a lot from the process, but there were a few who were glad it was over. These were the technology haters, but at least they gave it a try.”
She is looking forward to more blogs as she thinks of new topics and looks at expanding her audience.