At the annual Catholic New Media Conference in Boston this past weekend, over two hundred people attended this conference from all over the world that emphasized faith and prayer as we began both days with Mass. A spirit of apostleship prevailed among all the attendees who graciously shared their wealth of knowledge and skills.
The conference was held at the Archdiocese of Boston’s Pastoral Center, which houses many diocesan offices including where guru Domenico Bettinelli manages the radio station, websites, and social media for the diocese. George Martel who shares the office with Dom is a master photographer who also brings his talents to serve the diocese, and both shared their wealth of knowledge with us at this conference. Boston is truly the leader in America in showing the way to better use new and traditional media in communicating the message of our Catholic Faith.
Monsignor Paul Tighe
The keynote address was given by Msgr. Paul Tighe, secretary of the Pontifical Council for Social Communications, a key figure in the Vatican’s social media efforts. He spoke about the experiences in using the internet at The Vatican including the papal Twitter account @Pontifex, the News.va news portal, and the Pope App. Monsignor Tighe reported that Pope Francis will be encouraging the use of Vine video sharing during the Christmas season.
Monsignor Tighe also shared the news that .catholic domain has been approved, and the 3-year $80,000 effort to secure the domain should bear fruit soon for the church. He said they are planning a 5-10 year roll-out of using this new domain amongst diocese, and helping to authenticate Catholic websites. It is wonderful that the Vatican understands the power of the internet and using it for the good of the church. I encourage you to watch his entire talk in the following video, if you missed the live stream earlier. He also had a great talk on the Good Catholic Life radio show with Scott Landry, Fr. Roderick, Fr. Chip Hines, and Dom Bettinelli (Audio Link to radio show podcast).
Cost Effective Video for Parishes & LIVE Streaming
One area I have been seeing a lot of interest in, is producing live streams for parish needs. In Boston, Dom Bettinelli has been able to help bring parish events such as Baptisms, First Communions, and weddings to military and other families members who can’t attend in person, but offering the next best thing through LIVE streaming video. The cost of equipment has come down considerably in recent years to make it affordable for a diocese or parish. Dom presented three affordable equipment options for parishes to provide live streaming:
- Video Camera recommended: Canon Vixia HF G20 ($999 at Amazon)
- Equipment for streaming video: Live Stream Broadcaster ($470.25 at Amazon)
- Equipment for streaming video: Teradek Vidiu ($699 at Amazon)
- Equipment for streaming video: Blackmagic Design ATEM Television Studio ($945.25 at Amazon)
- Microphone Recommendation: blog from Jeff Geerling on external microphones
Dom particularly likes the Blackmagic Television Studio, because it offers the power to support 4 video cameras and software to run a full television-quality studio for $1,000 – a real bargain that is within reach of many Catholic parishes and organizations. This probably would have cost a parish nearly $50K just ten years ago, and clearly amazing that the prices have come down so much.
Scott Landry and Fr. Roger Landry are Boston’s power-twins. Scott Landry was recently named the Executive Director of Catholic Voices USA. Scott gave a fantastic talk about How to (re)connect with inactive Catholics through Social Media emphasizing recent lessons from Pope Francis.
Fr. Roger Landry gave us a wonderful presentation about 12 points concerning Pope Francis’ style of communications, and 12 points concerning the substance of his communication. Audio link to Fr. Roger Landry’s talk
Thanks to dedication from Capt. Jeff Nielson, SQPN was able to offer live streaming interviews with many attendees at the CNMC. If you missed any you can catch the Catholic Weekend video links here Catholic Weekend #194 and Catholic Weekend LIVE Streaming Feed
Benediction & Commitment
We ended our day at the CNMC with Benediction and prayer to use our knowledge and talents to do good works for the church. Fr. Roderick & Fr. Jay Finelli (iPadre podcast) invited all the members to come forward in prayer before the Blessed Sacrament making a pledge to dedicate one’s self, to work for the good of the church.
Boston’s Little Italy and Harbor
On Sunday, we started our VIP day with 9am Mass at the Sacred Heart Italian Church in the Little Italy section of North Boston. It is a beautiful church serving the Italian community, but the fact that our service was in the lower day chapel, and not the larger upper church was surprising: a testament to the evangelizing work needed ahead, and a sad statement about how many people have left the faith in this Italian neighborhood.
The VIP day on Sunday brought us glorious Fall weather to our Boston tour and gave us some time to learn more about video, audio, and photography production. On Sunday we had a smaller group of about 50 people for the VIP ticket, and after Mass we wandered down to the waterfront to take a very entertaining Duck Tour of Boston. The Duck is a WWII amphibious craft that can travel on land and sea, and gave us a fun tour of Boston – a town charged with the Boston Red Sox hosting a World Series.
After the Duck Tour, we had a wonderful family-style lunch at an Italian Restaurant named Artuu (of course Fr. Roderick was giddy with the name referencing R2D2) that was sponsored by Our Daily Visitor. After lunch, our group broke down into two groups, one for video with Fr. Roderick, and the other for photography with George Martel, and we switched groups later in the day. We walked around North Boston and the harbor area to demonstrate best practices and techniques in shooting video and photos. George Martel is a wonderful professional photographer who shared his talents and in a talk on Saturday (pdf link to his photo presentation). Fr. Roderick also gave an entertaining talk about his use of video, and gave a bunch a great tips to make them look better.
CWS Launching Greater Good Technology & ParishFaces.com
In following Pope Francis call to help serve the poor, Catholic Web Services is looking to bring technology to assist the poor and disadvantaged. Catholic Web Services announced our two upcoming projects at the CNMC to help serve the church in new ways. Greater Good Technology is a pilot project we have launched in Charlottesville, Virginia to help bring an online identity to the homeless. We have partnered with a homeless man who is starting his journey away from being homeless, and wanted to help others. We developed an on-line course to teach the use of computers, and in giving a Google Chromebook to him, he is now able to train other homeless people in the skills of Google Apps and helping to obtain a job. This peer-to-peer training is very successful and offers a $40 stipened to the trainer for each individual trained, and with g-mail, cell phone (offered free to food stamp recipients) w/Google Voice, and Google Docs to write a resume. It gives an online identity that is crucial in finding a job. We will be soliciting donations soon through a indiegogo video campaign, and hope that we can grow this worthy program to serve more communities. Please help us with your prayers and donations.
ParishFaces.com is a new dynamic on-line parish directory and communication system. ParishFaces offers a way for parishes to grow their ministries with an e-mail system that offers communication and a forum for each ministry or group. ParishFaces is also offered with our Guardian Angel Service which provides a full WordPress website for a parish or additional website for ministry or group. We are currently in beta testing and will keep you updated when we are ready to launch ParishFaces.
Lightsaber Duel with Fr. Roderick
One of the highlights of my weekend was being able to spend some time talking with Fr. Roderick. Thrilled too that he also took time to sign copies of his new book Geekpriest: Confessions of a New Media Pioneer, and had lightsaber duels with many of his fans at the CNMC. Fr. Roderick and many at this conference are an inspiration to me, and I hope you keep us all in your prayers to help us bring Christ to more people through Catholic New Media.
Thanks to all the crew at SQPN and Jeff Young (Catholic Foodie) & his wife Char, for helping in organizing this year’s Catholic New Media Conference.
Pax Et Bonum (Peace and All Good) – saying of St. Francis,
More CNMC Photos from John Clem — welcome to share
Holy Journey Home – Call To Holiness Blog by John Clem
OTHER CATHOLIC BLOGGERS AT CNMC
Mary Carol Kendzia (American Catholic – Franciscan Media)
Domenico Bettinelli (Boston)
Maria Johnson (Atlanta)
Billy Newton (Washington, DC)
Fr. Kyle Sanders (New Orleans)
Thomas Sanjuro (Brandon, Florida)
Fr. Daryll Millett (Saskatchewan, Canada)
Angela Sealana (San Antonio, Texas) – audio