By Celine Klosterman
Chris Weber blogs about Catholic issues, publicizes youth group events on Facebook and Twitters spiritual reflections.
And next month, the youth minister for Ss. Mary & Mathias Parish in Muscatine will teach other catechists about the potential of social networking and technology. He’s slated to present “Ministry 2.0: Embracing Technology to Share the Good News” at this year’s June Institute from 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. at Assumption High School in Davenport on June 11.
“These are tools people are using in their day-to-day lives,” he said. “Once you understand the tools, you can adapt them to ministry settings to connect with people, evangelize and catechize.”
Institute participants will explore using technology safely and effectively and learn how to use various Web tools. But they’ll also discuss helping Catholics “unplug,” said Weber. He’s spoken on such topics at national conferences and local workshops.
Technology can seem more of a curse than a blessing — as any youth minister who’s tried to talk to teens while they’re text-messaging on their cell phones knows, said Pat Finan, faith formation and youth ministry coordinator for the Davenport Diocese. “But at the same time, it’s part of the reality of the world in which (youths) live and in how we need to do ministry.” Even e-mail is outdated to some people, he said. Sometimes, “my best way to reach people is through a message on Facebook.”
To sign up for the institute, download a registration form at www.davenportdiocese.org/faithform/index.htm or contact Barb Butterworth at firstname.lastname@example.org or (563) 324-1912 ext., 265. Deadline is May 29. Cost is $15.