In my work as a journalist, I am usually extraordinarily busy in the spring and the fall, when the House of Commons is in session and many organizations hold conferences.
Thus, please excuse my light blogging. But I thought some of you might be interested in my coverage of the New Evangelization Summit, an annual event here in Ottawa carried by satellite to more than 40 host sites.
George Weigel gave an interesting talk about how the Church is in a period of transition from the Church of the Counter-Reformation to the Church of the New Evangelization. This makes it “exhilarating” but also disorienting. In a conversation afterwards, I told him about the Anglicanorum coetibus Society and asked whether he saw any danger of the Anglicanization of the Catholic Church with current tendencies to decentralize decisions on discipline regarding the sacraments to bishops’ conferences. Weigel is optimistic this will not happen.
People are “more or less addicted to their cell phones,” says Patrick Madrid, a Catholic author and radio host, but social media can be harnessed to effectively evangelize.
Madrid was one of eight headline Catholic speakers at the New Evangelization Summit in Ottawa Apr. 27-28 that drew several hundred to the main site, and several thousand through more than 40 host sites around the world.
Though many cradle Catholics lose their faith once they attend university, Madrid said, parents can use their phones to send video clips to their son or daughter.
“They will listen,” he said, though he added, “Don’t bombard them.”
Ha ha, I led off with Patrick Madrid’s talk on using social media, because I do spend way too much time on it!
However, I find it indispensable to my work and I do use it to share interesting articles with my followers. I haven’t been intentional on evangelizing with it, so that talk is an encouragement!
I filed a separate story on Ottawa Archbishop Terrence Prendergast’s talk on the fruits of the pilgrimage of the major relic of St. Francis Xavier earlier this year that drew nearly 80,000 people to various sites to venerate the forearm of the saint who was the biggest evangelist in the Church after St. Paul. I don’t see it online yet, but when it is I will post it here.
The archbishop talks about the revival of popular piety, of pilgrimages, of getting to know our Canadian saints, of Corpus Christi processions and other means to awaken faith and deepen hope.