Do you love to talk about your traditional Catholic faith online? Do you want to tweet for Jesus? Do you need a way to glorify God with that outrageously expensive lens you just bought for your DSLR camera? If so, then the Digital Communications Group just might be the place for you!
Tell us about you (the leader):
My name is Cynthia Bates, and I am the website and social media manager for MaterDeiParish.com. I’ve been a Catholic since 2006, a parishioner at Mater Dei since 2011, and webmaster for the parish since 2012. During my “day job” I serve as the New Media Specialist for the Catholic Diocese of Dallas.
What does your ministry/group bring to the Mater Dei community?
The Digital Communications Group shares the story of our amazing parish and our traditional Catholic spirituality via the website and social media. We show the beauty of our liturgy through photography. We also support parish staff in communicating important and time-sensitive news to our parishioners via Flocknote.
How many people serve in the Digital Communications Group?
Currently two people are the primary editors to the website and social media. Multiple contributors publish news about parish apostolates as well. We are also blessed to have a photographer that takes photos on Holy Days.
What qualifications or skills are needed or would be helpful to have in order to participate or serve in this group?
The biggest requirement to serve with the Digital Communications Group is the desire to share the good news of Jesus Christ online. If someone is interested in serving our unique digital ministry but does not have a lot of experience, we’d be more than happy to do some basic training.
We are hoping to recruit content creators for special projects such as adding daily readings to the website and creating graphics and other content for social media. It would also be a great blessing if a new team member would be willing to create content about traditional Catholic devotions and traditions for the website (such as the Traditional Mass calendar, the Churching of women, Ember Days, etc.).
Photographers – either professionals or experienced hobbyists – who would like to photograph Masses and events would be a welcome addition to the team. Graphic designers able to create simple social media graphics in Photoshop or other graphics design programs would be especially helpful as well.
What kind of time commitment would be required from a new volunteer?
If someone wants to volunteer as a content creator and was able to spend about an hour or so a week creating new content, that would be more than enough time to be a significant help. If a new volunteer needed some training, there would be a time commitment of a training session or two.
For a photographer or graphic designer, the commitment could be as little as a few hours every month or two to take and edit photos or create graphics for a specific Mass or liturgical event.
What are some of the most rewarding parts of this service, and challenges?
My favorite perk of working on the website is that I can serve my parish at home on a Saturday night in my warm flannel PJ’s with a cup of hot cocoa and my cat sitting next to me by my desk.
Any final thoughts?
In his message for the 47th annual World Communications Day, Pope Benedict XVI said that “Believers are increasingly aware that, unless the Good News is made known also in the digital world, it may be absent in the experience of many people for whom this existential space is important … When we are present to others, in any way at all, we are called to make known the love of God to the furthest ends of the earth.”
We can bring the love of God to people through sharing his Good News online, and I am so thankful for the opportunity to bring the love of God to people through this team’s work at the parish. I hope that others will hear the call to share the Good News online as well!
Who to contact for more information