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How are parishes using new media?

BY Matthew Warner

| Posted 8/30/10 at 8:16 PM

 

Last week I asked my Twitter followers for some examples of parishes using new media. I got some good ones, which I was pleased with. So thank you fellow tweeters!

But I must admit that, overall, I was a bit disappointed in my search. I also “googled” the topic fairly extensively and the pickin’s were few. I hope that one day when we google “Catholic Parish,” we are blown away with how impressed we are with the many, many great results we find. In the meantime, we have some learning, sharing and working to do! Keep in mind I am looking for new media being applied specifically to the life of the parish, not simply its use in various other ministries by those in the Church.

I tried to capture a good variety of new media applications that parishes might find useful. But I hope it doesn’t stop there. I hope leaders of parishes will be contacting these parishes, asking them what works and what doesn’t and all taking some steps forward together. I also pray that the laity who have been blessed with the ability to produce and apply new media will come forward and fulfill an important roll in their Church.

Here are a smattering of my findings:

St. William’s in Round Rock, TX has a good mix of new media on their website. They’ve got a blog-type thing that lists latest posts in the meat of the page. They have the mass times easily referenced, but not overpoweringly so, on the front page. They offer a photo tour of their parish, an audio podcast (in English and Spanish), a Twitter profile and a Facebook group.

St. Mary’s in College Station has an outstanding community and website. They have online registration that uses flockNote to gather all registration information directly into a database and then immediately subscribe parishioners to the plethora of ministries they offer there. They also have a very popular blog, Facebook community and Twitter profile.

A number of parish priests have blogs, often with further commentary on the day’s readings, that they update for their parishioners. Like here, here and here.

St. Ann’s offers online giving links on the main page of their website.

St. Charles did an online survey of their parishioners.

St. Anne’s Youth Ministry uses part of their web page for an “Ask Fr. Fred” section where Fr. Fred answers questions from visitors.

Fr. Riccardo uses libsyn.com to podcast his homilies and other goings-on at the parish.

Here’s a youth ministry from Holy Family using multiple forms of social media well on their website.

You can find a few parish priests who tweet here on TweetCatholic.com in the priest section. I’d love to see this grow…a lot. It’s very easy for any Catholic to add themselves there.

What other parishes out there are using new media effectively at a parish level? Please share in the comments! Let’s help each other.