I suppose that as a young adult in the 21st century, most people would consider that a given. But for me, it's not so much the technology itself, but what we can do with it.
Because I love my faith more than technology.
Do you realize how important technology is for the Church today? As more and more young people buy iPhones, iPads, Kindles, mP3 players, and use google every single day, the Church needs to be there. Some people have realized this, and are using modern methods to spread the faith and make it more accessible to the world.
Matthew Warner, founder of flockNote, developed a website where parishes can centralize registration, bulletins, notices, etc. Opus Dei has iPhone/iTouch apps for an examination of conscience and daily prayers. There is a Catholic calendar app, a Bible app, a prayer reminder app, and a guide to confession app. I know of several priests who record their homilies and upload them as podcasts. Bloggers such as Jennifer Fulwiler, Fr. Longenecker, Brandon Vogt, and Mark Shea are engaging Catholics and non-Catholics alike in discussions concerning matters of faith.
Of course, there has to be something that I don't think is going quite right. The Church Herself, while starting her journey towards technology, is very behind. Who do I mean when I refer to "the Church"? Mainly parishes and dioceses.While many have updated their websites, I think most are stuck in the last decade, and I'm not talking 2 years ago. Many parishes make it hard to find mass and confession times, information about their church groups, or anything else! This is super important in a world where people don't make phone calls as much ........ Searches on diocese sites don't produce the right results, and, sorry to say, the Vatican website is a bear to navigate! (My professor recently assigned us a paper based on Vatican documents. Instead of directing us to the website, she told us to search for document names in google.) Have these sites gotten better? Absolutely. But do they still need help? Most definitely.
As the world progresses in technology, it's important for us to accept these changes or risk being left behind. But can't we help the Church advance? It doesn't just take one person to revolutionize Catholic interactions online, it takes many. Make Catholic sites visually appealing and easy to navigate. Promote religious videos, podcasts, and apps. Help people gain easier access to Catholic teachings, documents, mass times, and talks.
And now you know why I'm majoring in communications and theology!
What are your favorite Catholic blogs, apps, and websites? What should the Church do to reach more people via media and technology?