I got back from Boston late Sunday night after attending the 2010 Catholic New Media Celebration. What a wonderfully enlightening and fruitful experience.
You can check out my photos of the Friday night meet-n-greet, along with the dry-erase board from my fridge, on my last blog post. And I won’t recap the entire event here with all of the photos and associated posts, as others have already done a great job of that.
Additionally, I have a lot of great content that I captured from the weekend which I plan on sharing over the coming weeks. I think you’ll really like it. But right now I just have a few takeaway reflections on the overall event itself.
First, the value of so many inspired individuals coming together and sharing thoughts, strategies and lessons-learned concerning the use of New Media in this New Evangelization is immense. We need more such events. They need to keep growing. And they require the continued support of the faithful to do so. Please consider helping to promote and/or sponsor next year’s CNMC. Help keep the momentum rolling. It’s an investment worth making in a movement that is going to play a huge role in determining how well the Church relates to the next generation and the generations to come.
Second, every diocese should be represented at the CNMC every year. Contact your diocese to make sure they have somebody planning to attend next year’s CNMC. If they aren’t planning on somebody attending, encourage them to please make the effort to do so. Yes, there are other Catholic media conferences. They should attend those, too. But I think the CNMC has something unique to offer in both community and content that is really important for Church leadership to not only hear, but to be an integral part of.
Third, and most personally inspiring for me, this event was not just a conference. It was a celebration.
Our faith is not a mission statement, instructed by procedure and measured by a bottom line. The Church is not a corporation, incentivized by profit and a stream-lined process. That would be to miss the entire point.
Similarly so, this “new evangelization” (just like the old) will not be accomplished with mere workshops, technical training, conference keynotes and a three-year plan. That would be to miss the entire point.
If we are to be successful it must be about people. It must be about doing this together. It is in such a communion where we find the strength and inspiration to contradict the struggles of life with the Joys of Christ. And that’s what I felt most from the people at the CNMC: Joy. It was truly a joyful celebration. The kind of celebration that makes a welcoming home for the Holy Spirit.
Hope to see you there next year!