My Chicago Home

My Chicago Home
How can we best live as modern, active contemplatives where prairie meets city?

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Time is Precious: Use Media Wisely in 2012!

The media has "enormous positive potential for promoting sound human and family values…contributing to the renewal of society."  -- Blessed John Paul II, in “The Media and the Family: A Risk and a Richness,” released for 2004 World Communications Day.

My blogging break through Christmas took my site's focus to heart: balancing an active-contemplative family lifestyle amidst modern-day technology. Balance means knowing when to say "no" to technology and "yes" to more interactive living -- or even, silence! I know some try to avoid technology altogether, but Pope John Paul II urged us to "set out into the deep," and invited us to use creative, modern ways to help uplift the world. 

I love this great pope's call to renew society through media. Since the hearts and minds of all ages today are set on texting, tweeting and blogging, then technology can be feared -- or viewed as a vast, public square full of opportunity. We can cast our voices so widely. St. John Cantius Church in Chicago hosts Communications Days, urging parishioners to spread the Faith through various media. I learned about podcasting at one of these events years ago, but never felt attracted to the idea.

But this December, I learned to better use my Garage Band app on my Mac (with help from my 11-year-old son!), and prepared several podcast segments that now air on Dee and Deacon Tom Fox's site, Catholic Vitamins, also an affiliate of the Starquest Production Network, and on iTunes. (See banners at the bottom of this site for more links and information.)

I love this Arizona Catholic couple's homey approach to offering nutrients for the Faith "from A to Z," interviewing guests on topics such as "Adoration," "Blessings," and "Consecration." Asked to do a little "Missionary Moments" series, I offered my first spot on this topic last week, on the "B" for "Blooming" podcast. Giving a little overview of mission needs in America, I was excited "L'Angelus," out of the Diocese of Lafayette, LA, permitted Catholic Vitamins to use their "Ca C'est Bon" song for Missionary Moments. Irish-Cajun siblings who perform around the world, L'Angelus sang at World Youth Day in Madrid in 2011. Their music uplifts the spirit and makes me want to dance.

L'Angelus music -- "It is good!" Check out some of their
tunes here. I also feature this group's music
video in my blog post, "Sharing good music: an

act of charity made easy by technology."
But back to podcasting. It's tough to extemporize into a mike, but I'm enjoying the challenge! Podcasting reminds me of those early radio shows from the '20's and '30's. With the shows taped live, anything could happen -- and often did! 

Deacon Tom taped me at the end of 2011 for the Catholic Vitamin "W" for "Witness" show, and we chatted over the telephone about witnessing to our faith daily. At one point, I said I had always wanted to be a "ballet dancer."  Deacon Tom chuckled and reminded me his was a family show. Bewildered, I chatted on, as the interview continued. A moment or two later, I realized Deacon Tom thought I said "belly dancer." My kids got a kick out of that moment preserved in the show, and I'm learning to not take myself too seriously!

My husband reminds me not to let "perfect be the enemy of the good." Anyone who steps into media work is bound to sound goofy now and then. If the intention is pure, the overall effect achieved, and just a few glitches end up in the final product, then creative types should count their blessings! So, I'll pursue new podcasting projects, and continue blogging and tweeting --  God willing. I'll try to remember to pray for His guidance and grace every step of the way.

Let's all accept the challenge this year to "contribute to the renewal of society" through our wise, inspired use of media. 

God bless -- and Happy New Year!