Bishops and the Internet – positive developments

Recently, His Excellency Most Reverend Donald Hying, Bishop of Madison, has been issuing brief – a just a couple minutes at a time – video messages via YouTube.  He’ll tackle a topic in a single spot or in a short series.  Right now his videos are about “vocation”. His channel is HERE.

This use of social media is excellent.

I bring this up today because I just discovered that another bishop, of Gallup, is using podcasts.  H.E.M.R. James Wall has his podcast – or CrosierCast – to which you can subscribe on iTunes of Soundcloud.  HERE His latest is “Tolkien, Part 1: Free Will and Fate in Western Myth”. I will remind the readership that recently Bp. Wall began to celebrate ad orientem versus in his cathedral. HERE

Back in 2009 I wrote a piece for the UK’s Catholic Herald in which I dealt with the critical importance of online ministry.   I posted my op-ed HERE.   I just re-read it.  It is still timely even though it is now a decade old!  Sheesh.  Inter alia I opined that every diocese should have a “vicar for online ministry”.  I see that some bishops… younger bishops… are taking matters into their own hands.

Back then I wrote:

Catholics intuitively look for leadership from priests, to be sure, but in a special way from diocesan bishops.  I have met only a handful of bishops who actually grasp that there is an internet. Few take it seriously.  On the live internet stream of the November meeting of the USCCB a bishop observed that, while he appreciated reducing paper consumption by giving him a CD-ROM disk, he didn’t know how to use it.   I met a prelate in Rome, working in social communications, who didn’t know how to turn on his computer.  An American Cardinal quizzed me about my footprint in cyberspace and mused, “More people read you in a day than read me in a week in our newspaper.”  As a new generation of bishops emerges, episcopal savvy about modern tools of communication will improve.  Nevertheless, bishops can’t themselves be the point men for a diocese’s online ministry.

Oh, my prophetic soul.

Now, for you readers…

Do you know of other bishops who are offering something like this via social media? I mean something substantive, worth tuning in for.


About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

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  1. MrsAnchor says:

    @Fr Z … Speaking about Catholics needing Guidance & how Social Media can aid: Have you seen Pope Francis Twitter page lately? I’d advise all the Priests to view this. There’s a Storm coming with another Scandal about to break, I’m concerned this one will cause many to storm Vatican/Churches …think a veritable French Revolution.

    It may be a blessing in disguise St Peters Relics were given to the Orthodox…

    The Declassification of Documents Trump will be releasing is going to impact a lot and Social Media will go nuts along with the Cities Rioting. People are already speculating this will happen with the News Leak.
    The things we’ve been seeing in France with desecration, vandalism & arson are said to increase exponentially throughout the World. Especially with US due to the Abuse Scandal
    I do hope you can do a Post on a Pre Strategy for the Faithful. A Modern Day Cristeros Protocol

    Any advice as to how best deal with the avalanche or a past post that fully illustrates this that I may have missed would be helpful.
    Thank you Father

  2. acardnal says:

    Bishop Burbidge of the diocese of Arlington (VA) has a weekly podcast:—Episode-33/ has a weekly podcast.

  3. Benedictus says:

    Fr. Z.,

    Tell your Excellencies we look to shepherds to give us ‘food’ for the soul, not some syrupy ‘climate change,’ and ‘we are all migrants.’ How about migrants/pilgrims looking for our eternal home? When’s the last time you’ve heard that from a prince?

    We need substantive content, not the ‘Church of Nice.’

    [Sorry, but I don’t get your problem here. Was there something wrong with the podcasts or videos of the two bishops I highlighted? I didn’t find anything “syrupy” from them. If you have some specific bishops in mind, you might try writing your observations to them. In the meantime, perhaps you should check out the two guys I wrote about. You might be pleased.]

  4. Mark William says:

    Dear Fr
    there is a reason more people read you in a day than many (?most) prelates in a week/month/year – you have something to say that is worth reading.
    Thank you for the time and energy which you put into your blog.
    God bless
    Mark Smith
    P.S. it was your enthusiasm which got me back into amateur radio – looking forward to the day when conditions allow a contact on 20 metres. 73 VK2XMB

    [73 de W9FRZ]

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