Saturday, August 27, 2011

"How to Evangelize on The Web"; The Blogosphere as one of many possible "pipes" in the New Evangelization

What the heck is a pipe and where the heck is a blogosphere? Is this a secret language or are you already saying "right on".

I am at the Catholicon Expo sponsored by the Catholic Underground and if you feel like you are supposed to be bringing a message of hope, joy, love, mercy and salvation to the world then keep reading! (The only draw back is that the camera might "catch you" with the first frame making you look like a weirdo. See below).

I am sitting in a conference room in Houston Texas listening to Fr. Chris Decker speaking about the "Missionary Mindset". What is he talking about?

He is talking about stuff most of us who don't understand when it comes to technology or computers. While some of you are like "Count me in! I love it!", the rest of you might want to run away because it all seems to big, to complex, to scary or perhaps something that "I" could never do.

That is where you would have been wrong.

If I, as a mother of 8 children can do it, so can you! "Be Not Afraid!" was the mantra of Blessed Pope John Paul II and I am guessing it was because he discerned that it was getting scary and we needed to get out of the boat and walk on water. But guess what folks? If your eyes are on Jesus Christ (Jesus I trust in You!) then you can do all things through Christ who strengthens you. Phil 4:13

So what are pipes? Pipes are the avenues, methods, means and ways in which we utilize to get our message out there. Mankind is standing on the edge of the New Frontier and now is our time, like the pioneers of yesterday, to be the pioneers of the 21st century in the digital world.

The Blogosphere is a word that has been created to describe the internet environment that has manifested itself in which anyone and everyone has an opinion on every subject under the sun and they share it on their "blog".

Here is My Blog:

The good, the bad and the ugly are all online sharing their views in this blogosphere. While this is the norm, what needs to happen is for more Christians, annointed with the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, to embrace their greatness and become what they have been created for. Each of us are created in the image and likeness of God and this inherent dignity not only means that we are all unique and unrepeatable persons, but that each of us have different gifts and charisms meant to heal, inspire and lead the Church toward God.

Have you ever noticed that you might like one speaker or actor or singer but not like another? Well, that is because you are different from everybody else with different styles, tastes and ways to convey information and YOU might say something in a way that I never could. Why? Because that is the beauty of being human persons.


Blessed Pope John Paul II issued the Clarion Call to all Catholics, in fact, to the entire church that EVERY means necessary must be focused on "The New Evangelization".

What is the New Evangelization? Well, it is the technological means at our disposal which changes by the day, to evangelize the world. Ther are so many things we can do and many of us do not even know how easy it is to answer this call. So, if you have been waiting for your chance, then let me share with you how YOU can become a modern day missionary and evangelize right from your own phone, mac, pc or other.

The best way to explain this is to tell you what I have done and for those of you who believe it is silly to re-invent the wheel, I invite you do as I I have done and fulfill your baptismal promise because we are entering into a very difficult time in the days ahead and we need you. Me? Yes, You! One person can change the world so don't for a momment think that your gifts or desire or voice do not matter. It was one vote that voted Hitler into the role as the leader of the Nazi Party and it was one vote that decided as American's we would speak English. If not for that vote, we would all be speaking German.

So, here is what I did. I started a blog on blogspot and wordpress. It is easy to set up as it walks you through in small steps, easy to use and it is free! Take a look at some blogs out there and get an idea of your own style and flair and then DO IT! But, make it what you feel inspired to do. Do you want to talk about cooking recipes? There are blogs for that! Do you want to talk to homeschoolers? Single parents? Converts, gardening, music whatever. You do not have to be a theologian or a professional writer or speaker to have a blog, just a desire to evangelize, a sound faith from which to tap into and an extra portion of the Holy Spirit, which, coincidentally is being POURED out onto the earth right now in what I believe to be unpresidented amounts to prepare the church for what is on the horizon.

For those of you who are reading this, this is my blog!

Then, check out some Catholic online blogging sites and submit your articles. You never know, your article may be just what they were looking for.
Then, I submitted my articles on various subject matter to some of the online blog places such as:

There are many people who would never read a blog. They may feel it is too time consuming or perhaps they hate reading. That is why the audio and visual aspects of evangelization are key and this "New Evangelization" has something for everybody.

For instance, this past May I was offered a 1 hour slot on Radio Maria Chicago every week.  I may soon be featured on the National platform! The show is on AM Radio but is also live streaming on their website

Here is a link (it is on the right side of my blog as well) to a free online site that allows you to be a your own radio show host!

To maximize my efforts (since I want to evangelize those who have no hope, no faith, no joy, no love) I ustream "live" at
My Ustream Channel is Here:

This allows my show to be on a venue to a much larger audience, most of which are of all faiths or of no faith. Being a secular venue, it is hard to know what the audience is, in my mind, they are just people, perhaps searching, suffering, in need of mercy, in need of salvation or in need of answering their own call to share their gifts for God!

Funny thing about Ustream, not only can you live stream, people can join you there and talk to you. You can also automatically send an invite to everyone on your facebook page and twitter and others just by writing what you are up to in the box on the same page.

Ustream is free and also allows you to record whatever you do, so if you have a webcam, you can have a show on Ustream and then click a bottom to record, save it and either hit the "upload to YouTube" button or hit the "download" button. If you create a Youtube channel (anyone with an email address can get a Youtube channel and according to Fr. Robert Barren, it is a HUGE potential frontier in the New Evangelization).

Once your show is uploaded on your Youtube Channel then edit it with a new name and tags to draw the audience you will get there (more secular).

Hit the "share button" under the video and get the "embed" code. Go back to your blog, create a new post and put the embed code into the body, hit save and publish and you have now inserted the video into and on your blog.

I also upload to Gloria Tv, a catholic free online television channel. I just cut and past the link to my video and it automatically uploads it to my Gloria Tv channel. My Gloria Tv channel is here:

If you download Real Player, or other online free recording devices, you can record the audio of your show and upload it on a free podcasting site called Podbean. My pod bean station is here:

You can also embed the Podcast player on your blog in the same way as a video on the design feature as a new "gadget". That way, if someone would rather download and just listen they can do that. I believe you can then see your podcast in the itunes forum. Cool huh? Did I mention this is all free?

I then upload to "My Catholic Voice" and a number of other places as well. Here is mine:

I have also signed up for a facebook page and myspace page so that I can post things there. I try to keep the same pictures and names on all of them to help lead people back to the other things that I have out there. The reason? To bring them to the Church. Ultimately it is not me that I want to share, it is Jesus through my hands, my feet, my voice, my love, my message. Caryll Houselander wrote in "The Reed of God" that if not for our hands and feet Jesus would not be there" meaning in the workplace, the grocery store the internet. We need to be the living "fiat" the yes that asnwers this call of "The New Evangelization".

Just try it! It is easier than you thought and remember, have fun with it!  By the way, check out the wording on the image of Blessed Pope John Paul II above.  He committed the New Evangelization into the care of d Our Lady of Guadalupe.  If you don't have an image of her GET ONE! If you have not asked for her direct intercession and protection, do it now. 

Mary, Star of the New Evangelization, pray for us, that we may made worthy of the promises of Christ.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

World Youth Day Preparing the Church For Battle!

World Youth Day 2011 will be celebrated in Madrid from August 16th to 21st, 2011.

The Theme for this year is:

“Planted and Built Up in Jesus Christ,
Firm in the Faith”

- Saint Paul

What is World Youth Day?

It is a great worldwide encounter with the Pope which is celebrated every three years in a different country.

Why is it celebrated?

To share with the whole world the hope of many young people who want to commit themselves to Christ and others.

Is it just for Catholics?

No, WYD is open to all young people who want to take part in a festive encounter with their contemporaries centered on Jesus Christ.

What is it “to live a WYD”?

It may be a unique way to deepen your faith and grow closer to Christ, by means of prayer and the sacraments, together with thousands of other young people who share your interests and ambitions.

This years image or icon for the event holds a treasure trove of information as to where the Holy Spirit is leading the Church and what may be to come (in my opinion at least). If I am right, then the next World Youth Day will be in the America's. I think in Mexico City, near Our Lady of Guadalupe. We will see if I am right, but just in case I am, today is August 7, 2011.

Why do I think this? Well, first of all, let's look at the icon for the Madrid World Youth Day.

First of all, we clearly see that Jesus Christ is the source and summit, in the very cross on the crown. Who is the crown? The crown of creation is and are human beings. Male and Female He Created them. In fact, it was Dr. Alice Von Hildebrand that jokingly said it was "woman" that was the crown of creation as woman was made from the image and likeness of God whereas man was made from the dust of the earth.

So the Crown, is in fact a representation of two things, both of which are reference to the victory of Mary's immaculate heart I think.

1) The "M" is for Mary and is fused with another M for Madrid.
2) The Crown is for Mary, specifically for "The Virgin of Almudena
3) The Crown of thorns that we are called to wear instead of an earthly one.
4) The colors of red, orange and yellow symbolize the warmth of God's love for us.
5) Red also is the color of martyrs, perhaps we are being called to die to self.

Anyone who has read my other blogs on Our Lady of Guadalupe, you will remember that OL Guadalupe of Spain, specifically the icon given by Pope Gregory the Great was the image created by St. Luke and protector of the faithful in Spain during the Muslim/Islamic uprising. Later, Queen Elizabeth, Cortez, Bishop Zummaraga (1st Bishop of Mexico and presented with the Tilma and image of Our Lady of Guadalupe) and even Columbus all visited OL Guadalupe in Spain to consecrate and dedicate themselves and their lives work to her. Although OL Guadalupe Spain is not the same image as OL Guadalupe from Mexico, it is obvious that Mary desired for the Catholic Faith and her particular intercession and grace where going to be the soil upon which future persons living in the Americas would be "rooted".

Notice how the image of the Patroness of Madrid "The Virgin of Almudena" looks very similar to Our Lady of Guadalupe from Mexico.

There is also a pilgrim cross and Icon that has been traveling the globe since 2003. Let's look at the Icon and it's many meanings that also share that Mary has and is playing a central role in salvation history. ( just want to re-iterate the importance that Icons are playing in the New Evangelization and I expect their role to become central and integral to this in the next few years.

This type of Marian Icon is known as an ‘Hodegetria’ image, a word meaning, “Guide of the Way”.

What is an Icon? An Icon is said to be "written" not painted because it is sacred art that has a purpose. It is a Catechism in color. Every line, every detail means and teaches something. That something is a theological truth about God and man's relationship to Him. Icons are spiritual doorways because when we contemplate them, there is an internal movement towards God incarnate, which is what Icons are, and when we move toward God, He moves towards us.

Icons are God incarnate because they are the physical manifestation of theological truth. They make visible the invisible. It was said that every man and woman are icons because we are made in the image and likeness of God, male and female He created them so to see a "persons" is to see the likeness of God. Perhaps that is why we greet one another with a gesture of reverence. Some cultures shake hands and some bow in the presence of others.

So now, in a world where the belief of the supernatural is almost lost, we are once again in need of a simple catechism. Like children, we need to be re-engaged through the beauty of pictures. "Beauty will save the world" and perhaps sacred art is the very beauty Dostoyevsky was speaking of.

The eyes are the window to the soul is an expression we grew up hearing. In the case of an icon is the invitation of our very person to enter into the mystery incarnate in the image. The World Youth Day Icon invites all who look upon it to enter the mystical and spiritual doorway to God.

The words inscribed are the names of Jesus and Mary, our New Adam and Our New Eve which have, through their very gift of self, opened the gates of heaven and overcome hell itself. We are called to be redeemed by Jesus by way of Mary.

Red is for martyrdom, humanity, the passion, the blood that saves. Gold is radiance of holiness and God Himself. Blue is the divinity as well as the symbol of eternity. While these colors mean so many things through the lens of Iconography, I encourage you to learn more to discover this language of colors and art.

Icons are Theology of The Body in Color. Icons are about the incarnation and therefore the eyes, the nose, the mouth, the ears in fact the body and the means by which we obtain information about our world around us, which is of course the senses, are revealed in icons are instruments of holiness. While concupiscence is the effects of original sin on the body, the body itself is NOT sinful and this distinction is being revealed through sacred art, Praised Be Jesus Christ! The large almond eyes also reveals not only her holiness as well as knowledge that is beyond a mere mortal persons, but it also reveals that this sense of the body is one that we most often are effected at are very person most easily. While custody of the eyes is important, we must also remember that we can also be evangelized by beauty and looking upon beauty so the call to grow in mature purity is being harolded. What good are eyes if we can not see past the exterior or those around us? We are called to "see" the very "person" of everyone we meet.

Jesus gestures both his own name as Christ as well as a blessing and his two natures. The two fingers reveal He was both God and Man. The curvature of His fingers are the signs for the greek letters which "write" the word Christ. One finger up for the I, the next curved slightly for the C, the crossing of the ring finger for the X and the pinky slightly bent for another C. This is found in the Icon that the shroud was made from as well as the teaching Christ Icon "Christ Pantocrator".

The upward gaze of Jesus is both an invitation to keep our own Gaze on things that are heavenward but upon where he himself looked. Where does he look? He looks upon his mother. She will be our guide in this upcoming and turbulent time ahead in the Church.

Not only is Mary our guide, but this particular painted Icon of Salus Poluli Romani, as legend will have it, is attributed to Saint Luke. The legend says that Saint Luke painted the image on the top of the table of the Holy Family, crafted by Jesus. Saint Luke listened to Mary tell of the life of her son as he painted, later recording the details in his Gospel. So you see, once again we have another tie in of Our Lady of Guadalupe from Spain as that also was an Icon attributed to St. Luke.

Their embrace reveals love and tenderness of Our Mother of Mercy and Jesus's Divine Mercy. The figures tend to be flat and unnatural. The frontality of the figures gives fullest expression to their faces. The placement of them both as centrally located in the Icon, is deliberate because the iconographer wants to show that beauty is not simply physical, but spiritual. True beauty, is captured in holiness. Again, this is the underlining theme of Theology of The Body, that the body is not just a vehicle that moves or transports the soul but that our bodies ARE us, we ARE our bodies. The Catechism of the Catholic Church states this:

365 The unity of soul and body is so profound that one has to consider the soul to be the "form" of the body:234 i.e., it is because of its spiritual soul that the body made of matter becomes a living, human body; spirit and matter, in man, are not two natures united, but rather their union forms a single nature.

In summary, it seems that Mary, through inspiration of the Holy Spirit is moving us in the direction of re-establishing the dignity of the human person through Iconography as well as an invitation to the mystical and spiritual means of revelation that Icons convey by means of images. We are also being invited to contemplate the relationship of Mary and Jesus for it is in this understanding that we will be more firmly "rooted" in our faith. Finally, when we build our faith upon the Rock, upon the Church, we will be firmly rooted and a storm is coming folks. If we are not rooted, we will be flattened.

For 26 years, World Youth Day has been an opportunity for the young adults to engage their lives, their persons and their gifts. Will you accept that invitation? Because when and if you do, you will be embracing your greatness and remember, one person can change the world and that one person is you!

Check out the local technology to stay connected!

There is even an App for phones to stay connected to the day to day news, photos and events at World Youth Day 2011 in Madrid through the iGPII application.

All proceeds help to fund future World Youth Days. god, pilgrims,