Jennifer Fulwiler is a writer and speaker who converted to Catholicism after a life of atheism. She’s a contributor to the books The Church and New Media and Atheist to Catholic: 11 Stories of Conversion, and is writing a book based on her personal blog, ConversionDiary.com. She and her husband live in Austin, TX with their five young children, and were featured in the nationally televised reality show Minor Revisions. You can follow her on Twitter at @conversiondiary.
When Cheri Lomonte heard that deployed military personnel often go long stretches of time without the opportunity to go to Mass or any kind of church service, she knew she had to do something. The founder and director of Mary's Touch began thinking about ways to strengthen the faith of the men and women who serve our country, and came up with the idea to send out MP3 players pre-loaded with inspiring Catholic content. Frontline Faith was born, and the rest, as they say, is history. From the Frontline Faith website:
In 2009, Cheri founded The Frontline Faith Project as an outreach program of Mary’s Touch, to help address the spiritual needs of all people serving in the military. Since that time, more than 28,000 MP3 players have been distributed, free-of-charge, to our country’s warriors throughout the world. These players have more than seven hours of spiritual content with music, prayers, and more.
You can see a PDF of the content that the players contain here. Frontline Faith has a Protestant version in the works now as well, and aims to send out 6,000 players in 2012. It's already touched the lives of thousands of soldiers. A Corporal named Joseph who is stationed in Afghanistan told the Frontline Faith ministry:
I am a soldier in Afghanistan, and...there are times when I don’t have a Mass for months...I got this MP3 player from my chaplain, and it was a wonderful gift. This helped a great deal. The letters from children in their own voices was very inspirational and made me smile. The homilies made me think about how I need to remember all the things God has done for us in a place where you sometimes don’t think about religion because of the hardships of war.
Another organization that's putting new technology to good use in support of our troops is Lighthouse Catholic Media, whose Military Download of the Month Club offers a nine-month free subscription serviceto all military personnel, veterans, and their families. It includes top-quality content, from lectures like Dr. Scott Hahn's talk about the healing power of confession and Fr. Robert Barron's Seven Deadly Sins, Seven Lively Virtues, as well as audio versions of hit books like No Turning Back and The Shadow of His Wings.
If you're looking for a way to say thanks our troops this 4th of July, consider supporting these great programs that harness the power of modern technology to provide those in the service with some much-needed spiritual inspiration.
Happy 4th of July, and may God bless all our military men and women and our veterans!