Pontifical secretaries, laity and digital culture

Earlier this week, Bishop Paul Tighe, Adjunct Secretary of the Pontifical Council for Culture at the Vatican, visited Notre Dame Seminary to offer our annual Faculty Symposium lecture, with a response by my colleague and friend, Dr. Daniella Zsupan-Jerome.

His lecture was entitled, “The Church in a Digital World: Sharing Good News in a changing cultural context.” He focused on the challenge to the Church in sharing the Good News of the Gospel in a culture that has been profoundly transformed by digital technologies. How can the Church be present to people who are citizens of a digital world, whose identity and sense of belonging have been profoundly conditioned by their on-line experiences? How can we express the truth of God’s love for all people to a public that is accustomed to the language and dynamics of digital communications? How do we invite people, whose understanding of friendship, community and engagement have been shaped by social media, to a relationship with Jesus in a communion of service?

He had a very busy week here, meeting and speaking with groups and individuals, holding interviews and celebrating Mass for the seminary community. It was a great honor! He even agreed to go to my daughters’ high school, Mount Carmel Academy, and address the young ladies on living out the faith in a digital culture. He was a hit because he is personable, engaging, connected to Pope Francis, has a global perspective, persuasively demonstrates the relevance of faith to real life, is up on youth culture and, most of all, has a cool Irish accent.

I asked him the day after his lecture if he would record a brief message for my Neal Obstat blog readers and he graciously agreed (a brief 2:20). Below that is his lecture to seminarians at the seminary (a longer 1:17:11), and below that is an amazing sight: a Vatican Bishop at the South by Southwest Conference (SXSW). Enjoy:

2 comments on “Pontifical secretaries, laity and digital culture

  1. Tara Rodden Robinson says:

    Hi Tom,

    Thanks so much for sharing Bishop Tighe’s comments. For some time now, I’ve been debating with myself about my online presence. Every time I read your blog, I ask myself what, if any contribution should I be making. I’ve prayed about it a lot this week in particular. On Bishop Tighe’s recommendation, I read Chapter 4 of Lumen Gentium. Wow!! I feel called now, more than ever, “stand before the world as a witness to the resurrection and life of the Lord Jesus and a symbol of the living God” and to “nourish the world with spiritual fruits.”

    With gratitude from your sister in Christ,

    • What a thrill to hear!!! Tara, nourish and nourish relentlessly. You have such a unique and beautiful spirit the world would be impoverished without.
      I teach a class on the laity at the seminary, and Lumen Gentium chapter 4 is our Bible; and par. 31 is our Gospel.
      May God detonate its truth in you this holy season.
      Thank you for reading and contributing to my blog.
      Peace and joy and love, Tom

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