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NOTE: The following letter was published in the August 25, 2016 edition of The Catholic Spirit, the official newspaper of the Diocese of Metuchen.
Three decades ago Communio et Progressio pointed out that "modern media offer new ways of confronting people with the message of the Gospel". Pope Paul VI said the Church "would feel guilty before the Lord" if it failed to use the media for evangelization. Pope John Paul II has called the media "the first Areopagus of the modern age" and declared that "it is not enough to use the media simply to spread the Christian message and the Church's authentic teaching. It is also necessary to integrate that message into the 'new culture' created by modern communications".
— “The Church and Internet” Pontifical Council for Social Communications, 2002
One of the priests I used to work with was fond of telling his staff and other priests about communicating with one another in a parish or the diocese, “When you think you are communicating enough, you probably have to double your efforts.” I think our Diocese has these words in mind, too. Communication is so important in our day. How do we communicate well with one another? How do we get out the good news which our Diocese has to share amongst ourselves and with others?
The Catholic Spirit staff does a wonderful job assisting us in this effort and is certainly now a first rate publication. I know there are many who are grateful to all those who contribute articles regularly and who work so hard to ready it for printing and mailing. As I travel throughout the diocese, I see the newspaper being taken from our parishes and many often comment on it, along with our website and Facebook page.
It is always encouraging to hear such positive feedback and, of course, to receive donations and subscriptions. Our parishioners seem to particularly enjoy the articles that highlight local parishes and events in Diocesan life, which our staff works hard to keep the newspaper focused on.
Putting together the bi-weekly edition is not an easy task. Many dioceses have had to stop their publications given the rising costs and changing technology. Our editor, Joanne Ward, will soon complete her service to the Diocese, and we owe her and her staff a debt of gratitude for their efforts in publishing The Catholic Spirit and getting it in to as many hands in the Diocese as possible in print and electronic form.
Communications is always a challenge, but here in the Diocese of Metuchen we are striving to use the latest technology to stay in touch and to further our mission in today’s time and place while being good stewards of the resources at our disposal. Keep in touch with us by following us through The Catholic Spirit, our Facebook page and Twitter account. Become an evangelizer too, by sharing the good news of the Diocese with others.
The Most Reverend James F. Checchio, JCD, MBA
Bishop of Metuchen