Earlier this year, Pope Benedict XVI said of social media, “I would like then to invite Christians, confidently and with an informed and responsible creativity, to join the network of relationships which the digital era has made possible. This is not simply to satisfy the desire to be present, but because this network is an integral part of human life. The web is contributing to the development of new and more complex intellectual and spiritual horizons, new forms of shared awareness.”
The Pennsylvania Catholic Conference (PCC) has answered “yes!” to the Holy Father’s invitation. The PCC can now be found on Facebook at www.facebook.com/pacatholic and on twitter at www.twitter.com/pacatholic.
Concerned citizens can log on and “like” or “follow” the PCC to stay informed about public policy issues affecting Pennsylvania’s Catholics. There is an important conversation and exchange of information happening online about all issues, including those that related to the Catholic Church and her teaching and morals.
PCC recently notified its Facebook followers about important pro-life legislation in the house, posted pictures from a rally on school choice and shared a link to a site where advocates can directly contact legislators. On Twitter, PCC shared news stories, “tweeted” the latest photos and quotes from a press conference on school choice and offered a link to an explanation of a current pro-life effort in the state Senate.
Members of the Pennsylvania Catholic Advocacy Network and frequent visitors to PCC’s website will still receive frequent updates on important legislation in their e-mail or at pacatholic.org. The use of these popular social media sites gives Catholic advocates two more ways to connect to the PCC as well as to other Catholics. The PCC invites everyone to please become a part of the conversation at www.facebook.com/pacatholic and www.twitter.com/pacatholic.
It is appropriate that the PCC has answered the Holy Father’s invitation during this moment in the liturgical year as well. Pentecost celebrates Christ sending the Holy Spirit to His disciples, enabling them to communicate with the people in various languages. We are told in the Sacred Scripture readings on Pentecost, “There are different kinds of spiritual gifts but the same Spirit; there are different forms of service but the same Lord; there are different workings but the same God who produces all of them in everyone” (1 Cor. 12:4-6). It is in this spirit of Pentecost that the PCC has joined social media – as a way to communicate, with the assistance of the Holy Spirit, with even more of Pennsylvania’s Catholics and all citizens.
June 2011 PCC Column by Joelle Shea, Director of Outreach for the Pennsylvania Catholic Conference – the public affairs arm of Pennsylvania’s Catholic bishops and the Catholic dioceses of Pennsylvania.