Vatican official praises Archdiocese of LA’s digital efforts at C3 conference


A Vatican official praised the Archdiocese of Los Angeles for establishing “a high model for the rest of the Church” in its use of digital technology at the tenth annual Catholic Communication Collaborative Conference, commonly referred to as C3.

Bishop Paul Tighe, secretary of the Pontifical Council for Culture, made the remarks during his opening address at the August 3 event, which took place virtually for the second year in a row due to the COVID-pandemic. 19.

“We are learning locally and we can share that with different parts of the world,” said Bishop Tighe, from Ireland. “Los Angeles has always been a church community of hope for the world church.”

For attendees, the one-day event provided an opportunity to reflect on the lessons of the pandemic and apply them in the future under the theme of this year’s event, “What’s Next? “

The question seemed to resonate during Tuesday’s debates as much as it did 18 months ago, when the initial COVID-19 outbreak pushed pastors, educators, administrators, parents and children of the schools and parishes of the Archdiocese of Los Angeles in uncharted territory.

Kay Harter, master catechist for the Archdiocese of Los Angeles, during his live presentation on Tuesday August 3 on “Languages ​​and digital cultural tools”.

With another opportunity to re-imagine the most efficient ways to connect with the greatest number of attendees, as well as showcase the technology that could make it happen, C3 came up with a hybrid model. The more than 1,600 participants registered for the event had access to 33 live sessions on the first day, spread over three time windows. All were then added to an on-demand menu with a total of 74 sessions accessible all week through Friday August. 6.

“This year we have mixed what we have been through over the past year and a half into the intense learning curve of the pandemic (knowing) that we have to collaborate and educate and have resources available all the time,” said Paul Hernandez, the president of C3 for the past three years, in his opening speech.

In his remarks at the event, Archbishop José H. Gomez told attendees he was “encouraged by the many ways the Church here in Los Angeles is leading the way in using this new media to bring people to a new encounter with Jesus Christ “.

“I think it’s clear that digital technology and virtual solutions play an important role in our post-pandemic ministry,” Archbishop Gomez said.

Bishop Tighe, who delivered his speech nine hours in advance from his office in Rome, said he believed the increased use of technology during the pandemic had caused a cultural transformation that was shaping our identities.

“It’s not just about bringing technology to people, it allows communities to stay together,” Bishop Tighe said. “I believe what Los Angeles is doing as it reflects on what that experience was and what we learned will be extremely important in guiding us over the next few years.”

C3 was officially launched in 2012, a year after around 200 people from a selection of pilot schools and parishes gathered for three days at Loyola Marymount University with the aim of focusing, identifying and to advise on how to integrate new and current technologies and resources in the Archdiocese. ministries. C3 received a major boost when mobile networking giant Sprint (which has since merged with T-Mobile in 2020) signed on to fund the project as part of the broadband educational service (EBS) spectrum. archdiocese, authorized to the archdiocese by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC).

Since then, C3 has become the umbrella of education and ministry technology in the Archdiocese, enabling the sharing of technological logistics information for parishes.

The foundations laid by C3, more than 22,000 iPads were distributed to families in the weeks following the transition from Catholic schools in the Archdiocese to distance education in March 2020. By the end of this year, more than 30,000 iPads equipped with Wi-Fi hotspots will have been distributed to families, Hernandez said.

This years of experience aimed to create a more classroom-like environment, with participants able to ask questions in a chat box, activate microphones to share information in small group sessions, and gain insight. resource links from presenters to improve information exchange.

Bishop Paul Tighe, secretary of the Pontifical Council for Culture, bids farewell after his opening speech delivered Tuesday live from his office in Rome, nine hours in advance.

Topics ranged from the basics – remote work issues, best practices for digital learning, and a Bible 101 ‘crash course’ on the scriptures – to more sophisticated discussions of how to de-stress students, the concept of digital discipleship, and how we can get into a “mind shift” about what our world might look like in 2030.

“Yes, part of it can be completely overwhelming,” admitted Andrea Chavez-Kopp, who moderated a discussion on digital discipleship from her home in Virginia, while recounting a Power Point slide showing that of the 7.83 billion of people in the world, 4.66 billion are active Internet users and 5.2 billion use cell phones.

In her presentation titled “The Upside of the Downside: Moving From Transactional to Transformational,” Dayrin Perez, Youth Ministry Coordinator for the Office of Religious Education, sought to highlight the positives of the “horrible situation” for which COVID-19 has been for so much.

“What we just went through will give us a moment of pain, of loss, of suffering, of stress, of separation from families,” said Perez. “There are millions of stories that speak of heroism and courage and that evolve into a transformational mindset.”

Bro. David Loftus, pastor of Our Lady of Lourdes in Northridge, reminded attendees during his talk titled “Finding Our Character and Anchoring Our Hope: A Parish Conversation Moving Forward” that the pandemic was only the last example

“When I look at Church history, isn’t transformation what we’ve always done? He asked.

“At 21st century, we just never had to think about it until now, ”continued Fr. Loftus. “From the start, the Church had to adapt to local circumstances. Sometimes they have allowed us to flourish. Sometimes they have almost extinguished the life of the Church. We had to learn at that time the things that were important to us, in terms of who we are and “who” we are as people of faith. We have remained God’s people even in times of pandemic. “

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