Passionist Media

I’ve been involved in the  “New Media” for a number of years now, and I’ve learned a  bit. But it’s a fast moving field and not easy to keep up with.

The New Media comes from the rapid rise of the computer and the growth of the internet in the 1980s. Until then, we used print, radio and television for public communication.

Today, the New Media is found not only in web-sites, blogs, communication tools like e-mail,  Facebook and Twitter, but it’s also transforming the “Old Media” through digital television and online publications.

The New Media is changing the way we communicate.  In the crisis in Iran a few months ago, the government shut down outside television coverage, but the world learned about it anyway,  largely through the New Media.  A shift is taking place in who controls mass communication today and the means to do it. I commented on this in a previous blog.

The New Media tends to be less expensive and less dependent on professionals than the older media. Anyone with a digital camera, a computer and a little know-how can put a video on YouTube or Vimeo. A maze of blogs and websites on the Internet offers a bewildering range of opinions and subjects.

For religious communities like mine, the New Media offers a real opportunity. We are a global community to begin with, and the New Media is global in its outreach. We have a solid spiritual and pastoral tradition and the bazaar of conflicting religious ideas needs some solid religious teachers.

We are branching out from some of our old media ventures to incorporate the new. We have a good province website. The Sunday Mass has a site on the internet.  Compassion Magazine has an online edition. Many of the print publications and videos from Passionist Press can be sampled or seen online.  There are some Passionist blogs around, from the UN and for Justice, Peace and the Integrity of  Creation. A quick look at Google Search, the standard for measuring new media success, says we are still proclaiming the Passion of Jesus.

I was encouraged last Tuesday to see some proposals for our chapter this May involving the new media and the media in general,

I hope we commit ourselves to it.

2 thoughts on “Passionist Media

  1. mystagogyfortheanawim

    Dear Fr. Victor…
    Perhaps this topic is one to linger with for a few postings as I deeply regard your insights about it.

    I have found the ministry of your prayer books to be so thoughtfully prepared that I sought out your internet space, just to witness your use of the New Media as it is called, as you personally transition from the printed text and hand held format of a book.

    My own relationship to the New Media is rather simplistic. And I worry that my postings here often forget that they are not private… nor are they a conversation… I would describe my postings as more a Responsorial Psalm from the heart… to your postings.

    I do not aspire to such a big voice as the internet. Though I have numerous blogs I have set them all to private (took a bit to find out how to do that). I was utterly shocked to find that people had visited the sites before I could sort out how to privatize them. They are just course unpolished stones. Rough sketches. More distraction than content…

    It is only the digital format that has appeal over the handwritten journal. The digital format allows me to construct interrelated journals. To connect journals on one topic to another related topic. That is something I was doing on paper and invariably, I’d lose a thread. And if I ever figure out links! I can share the lectio that bore fruit in my heart.

    Now the internet have renamed journals — blogs. And WordPress and such assures that these blogs will be accessible to future generations. Set to private, I can later on invite those wiser than I to review them. If they are something that future generations may find some small merit in then they are left for them in a format that is more accessible. If not… delete is just a click away.

    The appeal of The New Media allows for what is called Mind Mapping which shows the cross pollination of ideas and sources. And I include a link here to show how this Mind Mapping principle is being applied to Bible Study..
    This was just released Oct. 15th… amazing.

    I also include a link to another Bible Study site that isn’t as complex and elegant but is burdened by the issue of Copyright Protection. The first link is to the site as it breaks open the Beatitudes
    And this second link… speaks to the struggles that they are facing over infringement on their copyrights

    I have used Mystagogy for the Anawim as a reminder to myself and to others of the poor who do not have the price of admission to the New Media… and my journals/blogs/and postings under various usernames are simply the record of my own struggle to live on a daily basis… a Mystagogy for the Anawim that is unfolding as a Prayer of The Heart. A Mystagogy of such simplicity that the price has already been paid through the Life, Death and Resurrection of Jesus Christ.

    No electricity, computers or computer skills required…



  2. vhoagland Post author

    I liked the examples you suggested and hope to work towards what they suggest. We have to “learn by doing,” even if our doing is imperfect, “unpolished stones” as you say.

    The scriptures and the liturgy that derive from them must be broken down, as you also say, for the littles ones, who are also us, passing on what we struggle to understand ourselves.


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