[Note: At the conclusion of these workshops, we intend to produce a digital/printed resource that parishes can pick up and use, collated from the material we have presented around the Archdiocese – please watch this space, as well as our Twitter feeds. Paul.]
On the 19th October the Maryvale Institute hosted its first evening session on using Social Media for Parish Catechesis and Evangelisation. Over recent years social media has revolutionised the way people communicate with each other. Millions of people in our local parishes and friendship groups use social media to communicate and keep up with the latest events happening throughout the world. This can provide individual users of social media or parishes: Facebook, Twitter and Instagram the opportunity to communicate the Gospel Message via these mediums. Many people respond to and look to social media for instant updates as to what is happening so what we as individuals and parishes share can impact on people who are not coming to our parishes.
The session we ran, covered how to communicate using social media, the simplicity of setting up a social media account and we also shared some reliable Catholic resources readily available for us to access. Furthermore, we looked at the various types of social media networks and how they work so that individuals or parishes can decide what is the most suitable for their own needs. Erin Doughty, from BCYS, provided us with a comprehensive insight into how the Youth Service uses social media to communicate with young people. BCYS is at the forefront of social media usage in the Archdiocese on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Most young people today have grown up with social media being their prominent form of communication throughout their lives. Sr Gillian Murphy helped us to think strategically how a parish can run and reach out to people using social media. This included discerning how and when social media use was appropriate and useful for the parish.
These sessions shall be continuing throughout the Archdiocese over the coming months. If you’re already using social media as an individual or a parish and are looking for some new ideas please come along. Equally if you have no experience of using social media please come and find out more. – Natalie Orefice.