Monday, October 18, 2010

On Respect Life Month

In the post below, we heard the Vatican's lead hand on communications call for "a pastoral conversion" of church leadership toward digital media... one that, truth be told, remains to be had in no shortage of places on these shores.

As ever, though, calling out the problem only ever goes so far... and while it still has a good bit inroads to make, the message has been heeded in some places here -- and always, where it's been tried, with notable results.

Assessing the landscape, it can't go unremarked that the heads of three of the Stateside church's four largest dioceses (1, 2, 4) now blog regularly, or that several other prelates have taken to blogging, podcasting, Tweeting, Facebooking, or some other form of new media outreach. And now, in a new frontier for the possibilities digital communication can bring about in ecclesial life, Archbishop Gregory Aymond of New Orleans recently launched a weekly "vlog" -- that is, video blog -- and did so with a splash, announcing an eventual Synod for the Crescent City diocese in his first post.

In his latest "fireside chat," the Big Easy's first native-son archbishop -- whose skillful suavità has made the 60 year-old prelate one of the bench's most highly-regarded hands on all sides -- discusses October's ecclesial priority of Respect Life Month, its 2010 theme culled from the patron of journalists, St Francis de Sales: "The measure of love is to love without measure"....

As the incoming chair of the bench's Committee on Divine Worship, Aymond is on-deck to oversee the US church's final approach to Advent 2011's implementation of the new Roman Missal in English. Back home, meanwhile, having overseen a record boom of priestly vocations in his prior assignment of Austin, the archbishop has begun a fresh push for seminarians in New Orleans, whose formation-house he led for 14 years.

Likewise, for another take on this month's church-focus, Coadjutor-Bishop David O'Connell CM of Trenton delivered a Sheenesque turn in his Princeton debut, headlining an ecumenical service for life in Old Nassau's chapel: