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BRAINTREE -- Embracing new and state-of-the-art forms of digital communication to reach the faithful has been a top priority of Cardinal Seán P. O’Malley.
As part of that effort, effective July 1, the secretariat for Catholic Media will be added to Cardinal O’Malley’s cabinet. Scot Landry, the current secretary for Institutional Advancement, will become the secretary for Catholic Media and oversee all of the archdiocese’s print and digital media including The Pilot’s print edition and its website, CatholicTV, the Boston Catholic Directory, Cardinal O’Malley’s weekly email, the archdiocese’s website, the archdiocese’s new media accounts including Facebook, Twitter and photo sharing.
“The new Catholic media secretariat is an attempt by Cardinal Seán to locate all the Catholic media entities, broadcast, print, and new media in one group so we can collaborate more effectively with each other, share our faith and communicate with the parishes in the archdiocese in a way that inspires people to love the Lord,” Landry said.
The new Catholic media secretariat was created from Landry’s current institutional advancement secretariat, which included both media and fundraising operations for the entire archdiocese. As secretary for Institutional Advancement, Landry oversaw all of the archdiocese’s media in addition to fundraising initiatives such as major gifts and the Catholic Appeal. Now, as the Catholic media secretary, he will focus solely on the archdiocese’s Catholic media.
Landry started overseeing digital and print media in 2008, in addition to his fundraising duties, he said.
Landry said that a search for a new secretary of Development to manage the archdiocese’s fundraising efforts is now underway.
As Catholic media secretary, Landry will also oversee fundraising operations exclusively for his new secretariat.
In addition to the archdiocese’s print and digital media, Landry said the new secretariat could also assist parishes in their communication initiatives such as strengthening parish websites, establishing e-mail communications, developing a Facebook presence, and assisting with improving bulletin content.
“Our primary focus as we launch this new secretariat is to consult with pastors and parish staff as to how we can best help them drive their communication efforts and engage their parishioners in the life of the Church,” Landry said. “We’ll be happy to help any parish or ministry with that. Beyond that, our hope is to build a communication platform in all the languages our parishioners speak.”
To that end, Landry said that other media entities are expected to be added in the future that will enable communication in some of the other languages spoken within the archdiocese’s boundaries.
Landry said the new secretariat represents a more coordinated effort in the area of Catholic communications in the archdiocese. However, the missions of the individual entities within the new group will not change, Landry said.
“If we are successful, CatholicTV, The Pilot, the Boston Catholic Directory, and our other forms of media will continue on the same great trajectory they are on,” Landry said. “We don’t expect much to change in the way these organizations continue the great service they have been to the Church.”
Landry said he expects it will be easier for various media to share content, but not in a way that compromises the identity of individual entities.
Antonio Enrique, editor of The Pilot, said this venture will bring “new energy” to the paper and enhance its ability to reach wider audiences.
“This new initiative is a confirmation of Cardinal Seán’s commitment to foster a Catholic culture that is increasingly counter-cultural in the midst of a secularized society that is abandoning its Christian roots,” Enrique said.
“The assets that The Pilot staff brings into the new organization, including the printed edition of The Pilot, our award-winning Pilot website, our social media accounts as well as the Boston Catholic Directory and newly revamped archdiocesan website are a solid foundation on which to continue expanding our reach to the new generations of Catholics well into the future,” he added.
This new secretariat is being launched, according to Landry, because Pope Benedict XVI has encouraged Catholics to use new digital media to share the faith and develop resources to deepen their practice of the faith. The pope said this as part of a recent World Communications Day message.
The new secretariat also reflects Cardinal O’Malley’s leadership in using new communication channels to reach the people, Landry said.
In 2006, Cardinal O’Malley became the first cardinal to publish his own blog, www.CardinalSeansBlog.org.
“Growing and strengthening the Church through evangelization, faith formation, and communication is one of the articulated priorities of Cardinal Seán and his cabinet,” Landry said.
Neal Finnegan, a CatholicTV board member, talked about this new initiative’s promise in reaching wide audiences.
“Under Cardinal Seán’s leadership, CatholicTV and other media entities of the archdiocese have done so much already to further the Church’s work of evangelization,” Finnegan said. “By combining these entities in one group, we hope that we can do even more to share the Catholic faith in Boston and beyond.”