Saturday, November 26, 2011

Inter Mirifica: Witnessing the Burial of the Old Sacramentaries, Via Facebook

Our parish priests are taking Pope Benedict XVI up on his invitation:
"I would like then to invite Christians, confidently and with an informed and responsible creativity, to join the network of relationships which the digital era has made possible. This is not simply to satisfy the desire to be present, but because this network is an integral part of human life. The web is contributing to the development of new and more complex intellectual and spiritual horizons, new forms of shared awareness."

A case in point: This morning I didn't go to daily Mass; instead my family walked over to the high school and watched alumni men and women play their annual soccer games. It's a glorious day. When I returned home, these photos were posted on my parish's facebook page with this note: "Stay tuned for the Blessing of the New Roman Missals, at all Sunday Masses this weekend."

In 1963, the Second Vatican Council issued a decree called Inter Mirifica, a document on the Media of Social Communications. It's been updated from time to time, most recently by the current Holy Father.

"Priests stand at the threshold of a new era: as new technologies create deeper forms of relationship across greater distances, they are called to respond pastorally by putting the media ever more effectively at the service of the Word.... Who better than a priest, as a man of God, can develop and put into practice, by his competence in current digital technology, a pastoral outreach capable of making God concretely present in today’s world and presenting the religious wisdom of the past as a treasure which can inspire our efforts to live in the present with dignity while building a better future?"

This particular digital Catholic is grateful our parish is heeding the advice. Now I am focusing my prayers on the end of the liturgical year and the introduction of new prayers and liturgies.


  1. Thanks for sharing this Allison- thank you. I'm grateful for the digital Catholic world that brought together, even in real life at this point! Amen!

  2. This makes me really sad. Old books--even blessed ones--should be hoarded and loved. :(

  3. Neat to see the pictures and cooler still that your parish has a facebook page. Our parish just debuted a parish website in the past month. Have to agree with Garpu about old books, however.

  4. @Karen: I have been in parishes where there was pure fear regarding social media. I like that these priests, who all are under about 45, are comfortable with the medium and understand it can be an evangelical tool as well as a community-building tool.

    As for the old sacramentaries; the other option the Church offers is burning them. That is even less appealing to my mind.

  5. Allison,

    I want to support your comment by relating an experience I had when I was working here in the Diocese of Lansing, Michigan: from 1994 - 2000. We had a wonderful director of Catechesis who, I would say as he was in his mid fifties and loved all things new and useful. He was always pushing for the diocese to have a large footprint on the internet. He saw it as a way of being available to as many as possible. His favourite saying regrading social media was that we needed to be where ever the people were.

    This man saw no threat from the internet, from something new. All things can be used for the Good, if they are used in a prayerful manner, and the internet is no different.