WASHINGTON – Two young professionals on staff at the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) have been chosen by the Holy See’s Dicastery for Communications to be part of a unique digital media project. As the Catholic Church seeks to embrace new and effective ways of communication during the COVID-19 pandemic, social media and mobile applications have been utilized as key tools in communicating the Gospel message. Recognizing the vital role of digital media, the dicastery announced “” and invited candidates to apply for a 12-month project with the opportunity to sharpen their digital media skills and develop skills useful for work in Catholic organizations, institutions, congregations and in their local dioceses to better serve the mission of the Church.
Alexandra Carroll, communications manager for social mission for the USCCB’s Department of Justice, Peace and Human Development and John Lilly, communications specialist for the USCCB’s Office of Public Affairs were among sixteen individuals under age thirty-five from a dozen countries across the globe who were chosen to be part of this project. Through her work at the Conference, Alexandra engages Catholics in the work of the grassroots organizations supported by the . (CCHD), the domestic anti-poverty program of the U.S. bishops. Previously, Alexandra served as the director of communications for Catholic Mobilizing Network where she inspired Catholics to end the use of the death penalty and promote a more restorative criminal justice system. Alexandra received a Masters of Theological Studies (M.T.S.) with a focus in Theological Ethics and Human Rights from Boston College, where she also served as a volunteer with the Catholic prison ministry at the Suffolk County House of CorrectionsJohn has worked in digital communications for the Catholic Church for the last six years, including several positions at parishes and schools in the Diocese of Arlington. For the last year and a half, John has worked for the USCCB managing the Conference’s social media and digital presence. He received a Bachelor of Arts in Communications with a concentration in media production and criticism at George Mason University, where he was also involved in Catholic Campus Ministry as a student leader. He resides in Northern Virginia with his wife and daughter.
“Communication is integral to the Church and her mission,” said Bishop Michael F. Burbidge of Arlington, and chairman of the USCCB’s Committee on Communications. “Over the last year, we have been physically distanced from one another with the coronavirus, but we have also experienced a powerful moment of evangelization where we have had the opportunity to remain close spiritually and pastorally. The communications technology and tools available to us have helped the greater Catholic community remain united with the Lord during this difficult time, and so it is with great joy to learn of the Holy See’s project to equip those who work for the Church become more effective communicators.”
The young professionals will participate in weekly virtual meetings, which include lectures by internationally renowned experts and individual coaching on specific topics related to digital communication and social media. The group will engage in individual and group work assignments throughout the project. The program also includes two week-long trips to Rome where the group will gather in person.
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