The 2012 Summer Olympics have begun! On this grand occasion, let’s check out some inspiring Catholic media from around the globe.
Always first in the Parade of Nations: Greece. As you may know, there are many Greek Catholic churches within the one, holy, catholic and apostolic Church. Among them, we find the Melkite Greek Catholic Church. Its Patriarchate has a beautiful website, though under construction. Treat yourself to the hymn on the front page.
Probably one of the most colorful cities I’ve visited is Sydney. It’s fitting that the Archdiocese of Sydney‘s website is not only colorful, but beautiful. (Few websites can use this many colors and still be described as “beautiful.”) Sydneysiders are also some of the friendliest people on earth; you’ll find the Archdiocesan website user-friendly in…
- Memorable sydneycatholic.org domain
- Easy topical buttons (ex: Mass Times, Becoming a Catholic, What’s New?)
- Straightforward navigation bars
- Special events featured as homepage “button-sized” banners
- Mass times listed by neighborhood/region with Google Maps
- and come on…who doesn’t love gorgeous photographs of Sydney?
The Archdiocese of Sydney has an extraordinary new media presence. Diocesan special events boast unique sites/domains and Facebook pages. Every event has outstanding graphic and media promotion. Find several on The Mustard Seed Bookshop‘s site.
Costa Rica’s Archdiocese of San José Department of Communications demonstrates great courage through their various projects, including talk and music radio stations—Radio Fides and Música Fides—which both stream online. (I highly recommend them! Check out the various types of music on Música Fides by clicking the brown buttons; my favorite is Urban.)
CYPRUS / ISRAEL / JORDAN / PALESTINE
Olympic controversy brews between Israel and Palestine, due to the Munich massacre during 1972’s games. But in the Church, Catholics are united in spirit crossing nation-state borderlines. Jerusalem is home to the “diocese” of the Holy Land, called the Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem which constitutes four territories. Recently, the Latin Patriarch updated his website! Looks great, doesn’t it? While many dioceses here in the USA are afraid to incorporate social media into their websites, social media abound in this one.
In fact, when I was on pilgrimage there, some of the Palestinian Christian students in Bethlehem University said that social media have become integral to telling their side of the Palestinian/Israeli conflict story. And to let the Church universal know they exist. (Holy Land Christians are called “The Forgotten Christians.”)
You may be mistaking Rome for your spiritual motherland. I highly suggest subscribing to the Patriarchate’s social media feeds, to stay in touch with Mother Church – the Church in the Holy Land. You’ll find fascinating content.
The Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem works hand-in-hand with the Franciscans to guard and care for the Holy Land. This is called Custodia Terrae Sanctae (the Holy Land Custody). Their website is unmatched, in my opinion, for its aesthetic appeal, user-friendliness, content quality, and catholicism (experience the site in eight languages). Stay in touch with the Franciscans of the Holy Land; see the places of our Christian heritage by subscribing to their social media feeds.
I don’t speak French, but I’m pretty sure this is hilarious. Check out one of the many videos that France’s national World Youth Day committee created to promote WYD 2013 in Rio de Janeiro. (This one’s a spoof.)
Here’s a more serious one. Outstanding production quality!
Whether or not you speak German, you’ll appreciate Mystagogische Kirchenführung. You’ll be led through a Catholic church and discover the ancient ritual significance of holy water, Tabernacle, ambo, etc. An excellent model for similar catechetical programs.
Flying across beautiful blue waters, we find Immaculate Conception Cathedral in Ozamiz City, Philippines. The site reflects the area’s large and vibrant community. Highlights include:
- Easily-accessible Mass schedule, with sacramental prep seminar schedule
- Attractive, updated daily gospel sidebar
- Homilies with social media share buttons
- Parish news feed, which links to photo galleries of recent events (take a look – they’re great!)
Carrying South Africa’s flag during the Parade of Nations was one of the Games’ most famous athletes, Caster Semenya, who underwent humiliation and scorn in 2009 due to her power and talent.
Perhaps Semenya has listened to Radio Veritas of South Africa. The station is clearly experimenting with social and new media. Their website boasts live sections displaying the current on-air host; news from the station, CNS, and Southern Cross, plus a Vatican News widget; station podcasts; live streaming audio; and (separate) SMS numbers to text in your comments or Mass intentions.
After having seen dozens of African Catholic websites, I can definitely say that Radio Veritas is at the forefront of African Catholic new media usage. Let’s continue to pray and support our African brothers and sisters. May their passionate Catholicism be translated into a digital witness.
ENGLAND (AND WALES)
The Catholic Church in England and Wales has teamed up with More Than Gold, the official Christian 2012 Olympic charity/evangelization organization, which has an outstanding website itself:
The Catholic Church’s answer to the 2012 Olympics is the John Paul II Foundation for Sport. The organization aims to found new sport clubs throughout the London diocese, then branch out as far as possible. Aiming to move youth ‘from gangs to clubs’, the Foundation may become a Catholic legacy of the 2012 Olympic Games.
MORAL OF THIS STORY?
I hope that, after reading this blog post, you’re more enticed to explore Catholic media projects from around the globe. Our catholic Catholic family is doing some great things online. Have you found any gems to share?