By Emily Drooby
The annual World Communications day event was held on May 8 in in Brooklyn.
This year’s theme “The Power of the Story: Growing the Catholic Church Through the Good News,” is a message which Brooklyn’s Bishop Nicholas DiMarzio said is important in this day and age.
“If we don’t tell our stories, and the good stories, you’re only going to hear bad stories, because that’s the way the news is. They want to have the exceptional thing,” he said.
The Director of Communications for the Diocese of Brooklyn, Adriana Rodriguez, added that while it might be a turbulent time for the Church, there are a lot of really beautiful things happening across the boroughs that deserve to be highlighted.
“There are a lot of good stories in our churches, and those are the stories that we want heard,” said Rodriguez.
“Lately in the news all we hear is bad news when it involves the Catholic Church, and we are trying to grow the good news. We know that in the pews, there are stories of people working hard, of people who are being helped by our Church, and by all the different agencies. So we want to promote those stories so that’s what people hear about, a thriving Catholic Church,” she added.
World Communications Day event attendees were treated to a panel presentation on spreading the good news.
Learning what makes a good story, Vito Formica, the Executive Director of News Content & Development for DeSales Media Group explained, is essential to spreading that good news.
“Today’s message is really about storytelling, the power of the story, how parishes, pastors anyone within the Church can use the power of storytelling to evangelize,” said Formica.
“It’s really not done enough. We do it well because we are the media. We do it with The Tablet, Nuestra Voz and Currents News every day. But it’s really untapped, and it’s not only with internal media, but it can also involve the secular press,” he added.
In present times, Vicar for Communication in the Diocese of Brooklyn, Monsignor Harrington, explains, an important part of that storytelling is social media.
“How is it that we can take the Gospel that Jesus has spoken and make it alive for us today,” he asked.
“How can we see that Word is not a Word spoken simply 2000 years ago, but that it’s alive for the people in Brooklyn and Queens right now, in 2019,” Monsignor Harrington continued.
Event keynote speaker and award recipient Monsignor Sean Ogle says using new media is essential to spreading the faith.
“I have a parish committee, and they said to me, ‘this is a way to go,’ and it would be another way of reaching additional people. Not everybody, but the story is a younger demo increasingly so. And we wanted to make sure we at least try to reach that demographic,” he said.
“For any minister of the Gospel, you have to use every possible means of reaching people, whatever the media is, traditional, new, old, digital, knocking on doors, whatever, all of those things have to be done,” Monsignor Ogle added.
He’s managed to successfully integrate a digital presence into the daily lives of his parishioners at Our Lady Of Mount Carmel church in Astoria, using social media, Youtube, smart TVs and the web to help spread the goodness and the vitality of his parish.
For his success, Monsignor Ogle received the Saint Francis DeSales Distinguished Communicator Award, presented by Bishop Nicholas DiMarzio.