EVANGELIZING CHICAGO’S CATHOLICS VIA THE INTERNET
Archdiocese Reaching Faithful with Improved Technology
Chicago, IL (April 3, 2008) - The Archdiocese of Chicago is increasing its use of new technologies to evangelize, teach and catechize 2.3 million Catholics in the Chicagoland area. When Francis Cardinal George, O.M.I. was named Archbishop in April 1997, the Archdiocesan website www.archchicago.org was in its infancy. In the ensuing decade, audio and video file downloading and streaming capabilities on the site have markedly improved the way Archdiocesan agencies and departments communicate their messages.
The latest addition to the site is a collection of Easter Season homilies and reflections presented by several priests in three languages available as downloadable audio files. Produced by the Archdiocese’s Office of Radio and Television, these messages are intended for priests and deacons in their own homily preparations, as well as for anyone who wants to deepen their understanding of the Catholic faith. With this technological advancement, the teachings during the traditional 50-day period between Easter and Pentecost intended for Catholics baptized at the Easter Vigil are now available to an unlimited number of listeners anywhere, not just in parishes, institutions and other religious buildings. Catholics everywhere can now listen to these messages anytime on their personal listening devices and computers. Every Monday through May 4, six new audio files for the upcoming Sunday’s homily will be added to the collection.
Many Archdiocesan departments and agencies host radio programs that are broadcast throughout the week on Relevant Radio, 950-AM that are posted to www.archchicago.org as downloadable audio files. These broadcasts include: The Catholic Community of Faith, The Catholic Conference Hour, the Office of Catholic Schools’ Catholic Schools Today, the Respect Life Office’s Life Talk, the Young Adult Ministries’ The Light Show, and the Office of Hispanic Communications’ Una Comunidad Católica de Fe . The Archdiocesan website also contains the Cardinal’s recent Easter homily and an February 13 2007 speech delivered to members of the U.S. Senate, House of Representatives and the Supreme Court at the Library of Congress titled What Kind of Democracy Leads to Secularism?
Downloadable video files, such as a recently-produced welcome greeting to Pope Benedict XVI in advance of his upcoming visit to the United States, and the Cardinal’s holiday messages, are posted on the archdiocesan website, as well as the video-sharing site, You Tube. The You Tube site also contains video excerpts from: the archdiocesan produced TV programs The Church, The Cardinal and You and Sanctuary; a question-and-answer session with the Cardinal from this year’s Parish Leadership Day; a video tour of the seven Archdiocesan Catholic schools that were recently honored as No Child Left Behind–Blue Ribbon Schools; and Fr. Robert Barron’s MISSION CHICAGO homilies.
TheDonate Online section of the Archdiocesan website provides Chicago-area Catholics the opportunity to make on-line contributions to the Annual Catholic Appeal, Big Shoulders Fund and Catholic Charities. The section also contains information on planned giving from the Archdiocese’s Department of Stewardship and Development.