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Talking Vocations with the Bishop


Vocation Promotion: Talking Vocations with the Bishop

“In the digital world, transmitting information increasingly means making it known within a social network where knowledge is shared in the context of personal exchanges. The clear distinction between the producer and consumer of information is relativized and communication appears not only as an exchange of data, but also as a form of sharing. This dynamic has contributed to a new appreciation of communication itself, which is seen first of all as dialogue, exchange, solidarity and the creation of positive relations. On the other hand, this is contrasted with the limits typical of digital communication: the one-sidedness of the interaction, the tendency to communicate only some parts of one’s interior world, the risk of constructing a false image of oneself, which can become a form of self-indulgence.

Young people in particular are experiencing this change in communication, with all the anxieties, challenges and creativity typical of those open with enthusiasm and curiosity to new experiences in life. Their ever greater involvement in the public digital forum, created by the so-called social networks, helps to establish new forms of interpersonal relations, influences self-awareness and therefore inevitably poses questions not only of how to act properly, but also about the authenticity of one’s own being. Entering cyberspace can be a sign of an authentic search for personal encounters with others, provided that attention is paid to avoiding dangers such as enclosing oneself in a sort of parallel existence, or excessive exposure to the virtual world. In the search for sharing, for “friends”, there is the challenge to be authentic and faithful, and not give in to the illusion of constructing an artificial public profile for oneself.”

--Jun 5, 2011, Message of Pope Benedict XVI for the 45th World Communications Day

The Diocese of Newark is pleased to share with you their Skype Vocation program.  The program consists of a Skype webconferences arranged between groups of Catholic high school students, and their bishop, Bishop John Myers.  In preparation for the call, students are chosen by the school (usually around 30) from their leadership groups, or campus ministry groups, or a particular class.  Then, the students send questions for the Archbishop to the Diocesan Vocation Director’s office several days before the event.  During the Skype webconference itself, the Diocesan Vocation Director assists students on site at the school, and the Archbishop responds to the students questions as they ask them.
This has been a wonderful way for the Archbishop to interact with young people.  The questions are usually not only vocation oriented but cover a host of topics.  These sessions usually last from 45 minutes to one hour.  Be sure to ask the (Arch)bishop for a "cyber-blessing" at the end!

Learn more about how students of Paramus Catholic High School, Newark, NJ, Skyped with Bishop Myers:

Diocese of Newark Skype Vocation Program

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