Articles

2018 Lenten Missions

  1. Lenten Mission with Fr. Eugene O'Reilly at St. Pius X Parish, Calgary
    When: Monday, February 26 to Thursday, March 1, from 7:30 to 8:30 pm
    Where: St. Pius X Parish, 2424 - 24 AVE NW, Calgary
    Speaker: Father Eugene O’Reilly, CSsR
    Information: www.stpiusx.ca  
  2.  Lenten Mission with Peter Thompson at St. Joseph, Calgary
    When: Monday to Wednesday (March 5, 6 & 7) at 7 pm (Holy Mass at teach night).
    Where: St. Joseph's Parish, 640 19th Ave NW, Calgary
    Speaker: Peter Thompson
    Information: www.stjosephcalgary.com
  3. Divine Mercy Lenten Mission at St. Michael Catholic Community, Calgary
    When: Tuesdays March 6, 13, and Thursday, March 22, beginning with Mass at 7 pm each night
    Where: St. Michael's Church at 800 85 St SW, Calgary, AB
    Speakers: Fr. Jerome Lavigne, Fr. Cristino Bouvette, and Sharon van der Sloot.
    Information: http://saintmichael.ca/lent/
  4. Lenten Mission "Stripped Away" with Michael Chiasson (Access 52)
    When: Wednesday March 7, 2018 at 7 pm
    Where: St. Bernadette's Church at 7103 - 20A St. SE, Calgary, AB
    Speakers: Michael Chiasson from Access 52
    Information: http://st-bernadette.net/
  5. Lenten Mission with Fr. Julian Studden at Mary, Mother of the Redeemer Parish, Calgary
    When: Sunday, March 11 (begins with Mass at 11 AM), and Monday to Wednesday (March 12, 13, 14) at 7 pm each night.
    Where: Mary, Mother of the Redeemer Church at 1714 14 Ave NE, Calgary
    Speaker: Father Julian Studden
    Information: www.mmredeemer.ca 
  6. Lenten Mission with Sr. Madeleine Gregg, fcj at St. Gerard's Church, Calgary
    When: Sat, March 17 to Tue, March 20 (Contact St. Gerard's Parish Office for details)
    Where: St. Gerard's Church
    Speaker: Sr. Madeleine Gregg, fcj
    Information: https://stgerards.ca/lent-2018 or contact 403-253-2251

If you would like to share your Lenten Mission information with us, please e-mail: communications@calgarydiocese.ca

Related Offices Social Media & Website
Related Themes Lent Parish Event

A Field Hospital in the Digital Universe

Parish staff and communicators were in for a real treat when they attended the 2017 Parish Communications Workshop at the Pastoral Centre. Fr. Thomas Rosica was the keynote speaker, sharing wisdom and reflections on his digital media ministry at Salt & Light TV.

After Bishop McGrattan led us in prayer, 60 participants from all over the diocese listened attentively to the keynote and breakout sessions. We learned many things about social media including: best practices, practical tips such as writing skills, creating quality videos and graphics on a budget, and tips on how to make an memorable impression with a branding strategy.

While these are all essential tools for digital communicators, Fr. Rosica’s keynote session reminded us that the one essential image we should keep in mind is that our digital media ministries are like a “field hospital in the digital universe,” a phrase he borrowed from Pope Francis.

Fr. Rosica explained that the digital world is a real battlefield where many wounded souls are taking part in, or are the victim of character assassination, online bullying, and slander. Many of these actions are even done in the name of defending the faith. As Pope Francis wants us to uphold the truth with love, Fr. Rosica urged us to stay away from quick and instant responses in the digital world, and that “no matter how hasty, undigested, and unreflective the responses are from our audience, our patient listening must always triumph.”

Parish communicators are indeed field hospital workers ready for deployment, sent to build bridges for those who are wounded, and to facilitate real encounters with each other, and with Christ. As Pope Francis encouraged us in his 2016 World Communication Day message, “… our hearts and actions are inspired by charity, by divine love, then our communication will be touched by God’s own power.”

Being authentic in our online social interactions means that we should reflect the spirit of our faith in our Internet postings, including a commitment to justice, peace, honesty, and transparency, with a gracious, kind style.

So the real question for parish communicators is not how to use the slickest technology for vocation promotion, ministries, parish life, school, worship, or to be relevant and to appeal to the younger generation. Fr. Rosica wants us to ask this question instead: “Does the use of new media serve to deepen our attentiveness to the presence of God, to the risen Christ, to the Living Spirit, to the community gathered about us, and to the world in which we are called to minister?” Do we embody Christ’s love in our digital ministry, not simply to be connected but to grow into true encounters with each other?

Fr. Rosica reminded all of us to continue to be inspired by Pope Francis who communicates with both his words and actions: “Let us learn from him how to model this badly needed kindness, goodness, mercy and joy to a wounded world and broken humanity around us.”

Related Offices Social Media & Website
Related Themes Communications Social Media

2017 Parish Communication Workshop - Feedback & Resources

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WORKSHOP FEEDBACK PLEASE

Please give us your feedback and help us make better decisions for future workshops.
- ONLINE EVALUATION SURVEY

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KEYNOTE RESOURCES

- Fr. Thomas Rosica's keynote presentation on Living in Digital World

- Fr. Thomas Rosica's Keynote in Catholic Media Convention

- Lincoln Ho presentation on Archdiocese of Edmonton's Social Media Best Practices

- Lincoln Ho's Equipment List of Apps & Equipments

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BREAKOUT SESSIONS RESOURCES

- Writing for Social Media - Prezi (Lincoln Ho)

- No Photoshop, No Problem - Session Notes (Lia O'Hara)

- Social Media Video on a Budget - Please contact Ryan Factura

- Make Memorable Impressions - Please contact Fr. Wilbert Chin Jon

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DIOCESE OF CALGARY RESOURCES

- Social Media Best Practice for the Diocese of Calgary 

- Communication Planning Sheet

- Diocese of Calgary Announcements - or you can find it updated regularly on CalgaryDiocese.ca frontpage, under NEWS

- Diocesan Social Media Policy (Coming Soon)

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FOLLOW US ON SOCIAL MEDIA

- Facebook

- Twitter

- Instagram

- Youtube

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CONTACT US

If we could be helpful in any way, or if you have any questions, please contact Lia O’Hara at lia.ohara@calgarydiocese or call 403-218-5511. 

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INVITATION FOR THE 2017 PARISH COMMUNICATIONS WORKSHOP

Communication is a means of expressing the missionary vocation of the entire Church; today the social networks are one way to experience this call to discover the beauty of faith, the beauty of encountering Christ. In the area of communications, too, we need a Church capable of bringing warmth and of stirring hearts. (Pope Francis, 48th World Communications Day, 2014)

We invited you to come to the 2017 Parish Communication Workshop exclusively for clergy, parish and religious communities staff or volunteers responsible for both offline and online communication.  This year’s focus will be on social media as it has fundamentally changed how people communicate nowadays.  As Catholics, we need to bring the Church’s teachings into what Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI called the “digital continent.” 

Our guest speaker this year are Fr. Thomas Rosica, the CEO of Salt & Light TV and Lincoln Ho (Social Media specialist from Archdiocese of Edmonton).  

Workshop Information

  • Date: Monday, November 13, 2017 | From 8:00 AM to 4:00 PM
    At the Catholic Pastoral Centre (120-17th Ave SW, Calgary)
  • Parking: Please park at the FCJ Centre parkade (219-19th Ave SW) or St. Mary's Cathedral Parkade.

Timetable

  • Note that schedule is subject to change without notice.
  • 08:00 - 09:00  Registration
    09:00 - 09:30  Prayer & Greetings (Bishop William McGrattan)
    09:30 - 10:15  Keynote address (Fr. Thomas Rosica)
    10:30 - 11:15  The Epic Guide to Social Media 101 (Lincoln Ho)
    11:30 - 12:15  Breakout Sessions A, B, C, D (see below)
    12:15 - 13:15  Lunch
    13:15 - 14:00  Breakout Sessions A, B, C, D (see below)
    14:15 - 15:30  Putting into Practice
    15:30 - 16:00  Intro to Diocesan Best Practices

Sessions Information

  • Keynote address: COMMUNICATIONS AND MERCY (Fr. Thomas Rosica)
    Be inspired by Pope Francis, who yearns for the church to be an instrument of reconciliation and welcome, a church capable of warming hearts, a church that is not bent over on herself but always seeking those on the periphery and those who are lost, a church capable of leading people home. Pope Francis has indeed rebranded Catholicsm. How do we follow in his footsteps?
  • General Session: THE EPIC GUIDE TO SOCIAL MEDIA 101 (Lincoln Ho)
    In the beginning, it was just 1s and 0s. Today social media is a sensory overload. How to be salt and light in a world that's overflowing with bursts of flavour. 
  • Breakout Sessions:
    • 1.  OVER HERE!! I’M WRITING IN BOLD!!: Writing for Social Media (Lincoln Ho)
      The digital revolution has created a sense of fear to text posts, blogs, and traditional journalism. When text is the least popular medium, how do we create content to draw the audience to the ultimate Word?
    • 2.  MAKE IMPRESSIONS MEMORABLE: Branding and Consistencies (Fr. Wilbert Chin Jon)
      What is your parish all about, and why is that a big deal? How are you different from the rest? How will you show this on social media every time, and at a glance?  How do you make impressions memorable? It’s all about branding! Know who you are and flaunt it. Learn how.
    • 3.  SOCIAL MEDIA VIDEO ON A BUDGET: Videography Tools for a Beginner (Ryan Factura)
      Video is the king of content on social media.  As a parish, how are you able to jump on this trend without having expensive camera equipment? In this workshop, we'll show you how you can get started with social video using the camera you already have in your hand: your smartphone!
    • 4.  NO PHOTOSHOP, NO PROBLEM: Graphic Tools for Parish Communication (Lia O'Hara)
      Not a graphic designer? No access to Photoshop? No problem! The internet comes to the rescue. Learn how to make great looking posters, bulletin and social media graphics in a matter of minutes. Get to know easy-to-use graphical tools online and other resources that will help you deliver quality imagery while saving time and money.

Registration

  • This workshop is only available for Parish Staff, Communications staff and/or volunteers, and those who are currently managing the bulletin and/or their parish online presence.
  • Limit to only 4 participants per parish. Limited seats.
  • Please register each person separately. Choose one AM breakout session and one PM breakout session.
  • Lunch will be provided. If you have strict dietary restrictions, kindly bring your bagged lunch from home.

Related Offices Social Media & Website
Related Themes Social Media

Announcements


Announcements from Office of the Bishop

CANADA SUMMER JOBS PROGRAM CHANGES - UPDATES


CANADIAN CONFERENCE OF CATHOLIC BISHOPS (CCCB)

Legalization of Cannabis/Marijuana

‚ÄčOn June 25, The Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops (CCCB) issued a Statement on the Legalization of Cannabis/Marijuana for Recreational Use. The CCCB shared its concerns on the likely effects of the use and promotion of marijuana for recreational purposes; how legalization may affect one’s Christian life and what approach we can take to help addicts. This Statement has since been endorsed by the Canadian Council of Imams.

  • For more information and to read statements, click here.


POPE FRANCIS NEW APOSTOLIC EXHORTATION GAUDETE ET EXSULTATE 

  • Read Pope Francis' newest Apostolic Exhortation Gaudete et Exsultate (Rejoice and be glad - Mat 5:12) on the call to holiness in today's world. Click here for English text.


2018 LAUDATO SI ANIMATOR PROGRAM

Become Laudato Si' animators and be champions of creation care in your local communities/parishes. Join online webinars and be grounded in the science and Catholic teachings of Laudato Si.


UPCOMING EVENTS

ROSE PRINCE LEJAC PILGRIMAGE IN BC - JULY 6-8

The Diocese of Prince George is hosting its Rose Prince Lejac Annual Pilgrimage on July 6 -8 at Lejac, BC. To learn more about the pilgrimage, google "ROSE PRINCE LEJAC PILGRIMAGE" and learn about Rose Prince. 

Six-Day Retreat with Fr. Trevor Scott, SJ - July 13-19

Theme: Praying with Change and Transition in Our Lives. This retreat will offer a time to deepen our understanding of how God continues to accompany us in these times of transition, just as our Lord was present to the disciples on the Road to Emmaus during the great change in their lives. Date: July 13 to 19 at the FCJ Retreat Centre (219 19th Ave SW, Calgary).

LOVE MORE: A BENEFIT CONCERT FOR THE RETIRED PRIESTS - JULY 14

Couples for Christ invites you to a benefit concert: "LOVE MORE" on Saturday, July 14 at 7 PM, at St. Thomas More Catholic Church. The concert will feature Laurie Callao, Calgary's inspirational singer who will be performing original compositions of CFC songwriter's winner, Carlos Perez. Proceeds of this event will go to the Housing for the Retired Priests of the Diocese of Calgary and Ancop (Answering the Cry of the Poor), a registered non-profit Canadian Charitable organization. Ticket is $20.

  • For more information or to get tickets, contact Jacque Beltran at 403-796-5130. 
  • Download Poster Here 

Seven-Day Directed RETreat - July 22-29

Theme: Grace. Retreat will be facilitated by Mount St. Francis Retreat Team. An individual director will accompany you on your spiritual journey. Date: July 22 to 29 at Mount St. Francis Retreat Centre.

Six-Day Retreat with Fr. Thomas Ryan, CSP - Aug 10-16

Theme: Savouring Life in Every Season. This retreat will provide opportunities for you to awaken on a deeper level and motivate you to move forward with respect to yet unfulfilled hopes and dreams. It will also provide opportunities to tame inner fears and resistance to the frontiers in this season of our lives and to cultivate appreciation for the gifts and growth opportunities contained in it. Date: Aug 10-16 at the FCJ Retreat Centre (219 19th Ave SW, Calgary).

Day Retreat for Women with Sisters of Divine Mercy - Aug 11

Theme: "Courage, my daughter, your faith has saved you. (Mt 9:22). Be renewed and inspired by the paradox of simplicity and the gift of faith. Date: Saturday, August 11, 2018 from 10:30 AM to 4 PM at the Divine Mercy Centre (15206 Township Road 262, Calgary, AB, T3P-1A7).

Prison Ministry Workshop - AUG 14, 16 & 21

The next Prison Ministry Education Workshop will be held on August 14, 16 and 21, 2018, 7 to 9 PM at the Catholic Pastoral Centre (120 – 17 Ave SW, Calgary). The workshop is open to current volunteers or anyone interested in prison ministry.

YOUNG WOMEN'S WEEKEND "COME TO ME AND I WILL GIVE YOU REST" - AUG 17

Single, Catholic women, ages 18 to 35, are invited to a weekend of reflection to ponder these questions: Who is God calling me to be? What is God calling me to do that takes me beyond what I am doing now? When: Friday, August 17 (starts at 5 PM) to Sunday, August 19 (ends at 2 PM). This is a retreat with overnight accommodation in local convents. Please bring a bible and journal or notebook. Registration fee: $25/ further donations gratefully accepted. This event is sponsored by the Assembly of Women Religious. 

CEMETERY MASS - AUG 22/23

You are invited to the annual Catholic Cemetery Memorial Mass with Bishop McGrattan. DOWNLOAD POSTER HERE. 

  • August 22 at 7:30 PM - Queen's Park Cemetery - POSTER
  • August 23 at 7:30 PM - Mountain View Cemetery - POSTER

Marriage Preparation "For Better & For Ever" - Aug 27

“For Better & For Ever…” Marriage Preparation accepts all couples preparing for marriage, including couples in one or more of the following circumstances: living together, previously married, beginning marriage with children, couples 45+, or those who wish to have their marriage blessed in the Church.  Upcoming Dates: Aug 27 (followed by Sept 14-15); Sep 24 (followed by Oct 12-13); Oct 15 (followed by Nov 2-3); Nov 19 (followed by Dec 7-8) .

AN EVENING WITH THE BENEDICTINES - AUGUST 27

Save the date: Come and hear a presentation on Benedictine Spirituality: Liturgy, Lectio and Labour by Father Pius, a monk from Mount Angel Abbey in Oregon. When: Monday, August 27, from 7 PM to 9 PM at St. Michael Catholic Church (800 85 Street SW, Calgary). Admission is free but there will be a free-will offering to cover travel expenses. 

BISHOP'S GOLF TOURNAMENT - AUGUST 27

Each year, sponsorship teams contribute the cost of dinner and 100 volunteers to make each dinner happen in what seems effortlessly and seamlessly. However, not all Sundays are sponsored and therefore, your participation in this tournament collectively sponsors those dinners to keep the program viable all year.  Feed the Hungry’s Garden Program is in its second year and is an honoured recipient of Birdies for Kids presented by AltaLink (BFK).  All proceeds from the day of activities (on-course activities, heads and tails, and general donations) will be matched up to 50% giving your donation an even bigger impact!  BFK is a non-profit program run under the Calgary Shaw Charity Classic Foundation. The 28th Bishop's Golf Tournament will be on Monday, August 27, 2018 at the Silvertip Resort, Canmore. 

RETROUVAILLE RETREAT: A LIFELINE FOR MARRIAGE - SEP 7-9

Retrouvaille provides a ‘road map’ to help married couples find their way again by teaching communication skills and providing the tools to improve our relationships. Next weekend retreat is on September 7 - 9.

Secular Franciscans Information Session

Secular Franciscans are a community of practicing Catholic adults who strive to live the Gospel of Jesus Christ more profoundly in their daily lives, as St. Francis of Assisi did. You are invited to join their information session on Sunday, September 16 at Noon, at Canadian Martyrs Parish (835 Northmount Drive NW, Calgary).

ONE ROCK 2.0 - SEP 29

One Rock 2.0 is the new and reimagined One Rock Festival of Faith which seeks to inspire, challenge, and equip Catholic young adults to be protagonists in the New Evangelization. At this time, we encourage young adults between the ages of 18-35 (married or single) to pre-register on our website. Save the date: Saturday, September 29 at St. Michael’s, Calgary.  We are excited to announce that Patrick Coffin, Lizzie Reezay, and Brian Holdsworth will be joining us this September! We're inviting Catholic young adults in the Diocese of Calgary ages 18-35 to register now and take advantage of this amazing opportunity to hear from our keynote speakers about living out the Catholic faith in today's culture.

  • Pre-register now and learn more about our speakers at www.onerock.ca 

RED MASS - OCT 10

Inviting those in Legal Profession.  Save the date: October 10 at 5:30 PM, at St. Mary's Cathedral.

TRAINING THE TRAINERS: LITURGICAL LEADERS WORKSHOP - OCT 26-27

Those responsible for ministry formation (Priests, Deacons, EMHC, Lector, Musician, Altar Server and Hospitality) are invited to the 2018 Western Conference for Liturgy in Archdiocese of St. Boniface, Winnipeg, MB on October 26 & 27. Learn elements of theology and spirituality to pass on to those you are training, and to root the practicalities of these ministries in theology and spirituality. Keynote Speaker: Bernadette Gasslein.

PROJECT RACHEL POST ABORTION COUNSELLING

The ministry offers a journey of healing and reconciliation for women and men who are suffering distress from a past abortion experience. Clients will be referred to a professional counselor who specializes in dealing with the trauma associated with this experience.  

OUR LADY OF THE ROCKIES - DIOCESAN MARIAN SHRINE

Our Lady of the Rockies Parish in Canmore is now designated as a Diocesan Marian Shrine. This will take effect on the day of the consecration of the new church building in the spring 2019.

SPECIAL NEEDS MINISTRY AND MASS AT ST. PATRICK'S PARISH

St. Patrick’s Parish is forming a new ministry whose mission is: “To create a loving, supportive and compassionate church community that renews and restores faith and hope to families and children living with special needs.” St. Patrick’s Special Needs Mass will be a place of understanding, acceptance and welcome for those who live with special needs as well as those who care for them. All are invited to come and to be a part of this special liturgy. 

  • St.Patricks will be having the Special Needs Mass on the 2nd and 4th Sunday of the Month.
  • For more information, please contact Brenda-Lee Kearney at 403-835-2749, or check http://stpatrickcalgary.com  under Calendar.

CONSECRATION OF CANADA TO THE IMMACULATE HEART OF THE BLESSED VIRGIN MARY

Parishes are invited to hold a parish celebration on one or more Saturdays within the anniversary year (July 1 2017 to July 1 2018). 

WORLD YOUTH DAY IN PANAMA 2019  

Follow the Diocese of Calgary on Social Media:

Related Offices Social Media & Website
Related Themes Newsletter

Best Practices

SOCIAL MEDIA BEST PRACTICES FOR PARISHES

Online communications have significantly shaped the way people interact with each other, and continue to influence how and where people look for information. Among various forms of online communications, social media continues to be a significant tool that could be used for the Church’s mission of evangelization. 

As a Church, we have the opportunity to use social media for the twofold purpose of information and formation:

  1. Information – to update parishioners with Mass and reconciliation schedules, liturgies they could participate in, ministries they could help in, parish events they could join, and other information relevant to them as members of their parish community. 
  2. Formation – to help parishioners in their faith journey through curated Catholic content (videos, blogs, articles, etc.).

Also, the Church has the opportunity to use social media as a platform of influence. In a day and age where hundreds of millions of people are active online, social media can be effectively used to reach not only those in the pews, but also those who are not. Building an active, welcoming and friendly parish social media presence could foster engagement even among those who are not in the Church.

The goal of this Best Practices and Guidelines is to help parishes that are not on social media create and maintain an active and engaging social media presence. Additionally, offer tips and insights from the experiences of the Diocese of Calgary Social Media Committee. Consequently, the aim of establishing a parish social media presence is not only to share your weekly Parish bulletin, nor is it only to post Mass times. Since we share in the life and mission of the Catholic Church, our ultimate aim is to engage our parishioners (information), help them in their faith journey (formation), and to help spread the Gospel of Jesus Christ online (platform of influence/evangelization). 

Facebook

Among all other social media platforms, Facebook is the largest by number of monthly active users (1+ billion). Considering its prominence and the level of detail and information one can put, it is fair to say that you can treat your Facebook page as your secondary source of information online — next only to your official parish website. Click here for Facebook’s official Getting Started with Pages how-to guide.

How to use Facebook

  • Populate your Facebook Page’s About section with all the important and relevant details about your parish (e.g. Parish’s street address, website, parish office telephone number, contact email, Mass and Reconciliation times, etc.)
  • Take advantage of Facebook’s Events feature. By creating one for each of your parish events, you can share it to your followers, on which there is a feature where they can RSVP. In turn, your followers can share your event with their friends.
  • Share opportunities where parishioners can volunteer in the different parish ministries.
  • Share links to Catholic news.
  • Follow the Facebook Pages of other Catholic organizations, ministries, parishes, and Dioceses – this makes curating Catholic content easier.
  • Create a Page: some people make the mistake of creating a Facebook profile for their parish instead of a Facebook Page. The difference? A Facebook profile is for a personal user (i.e. you as an individual), while a Facebook Page is for an organization/business. As a parish, a Facebook Page is what you need. Note that a Facebook Page is different than a Facebook Group. Don't choose Group, choose Page. 
  • Assign roles: In your Facebook Page’s settings, you can assign other Facebook Users a role in managing your Page (Admin, moderator, editor, etc.), with each role having varied accessibilities and rights. This will make maintaining your Facebook presence easier.2
  • Live Video: want to broadcast an event, live? While Facebook Live started out only for personal profiles and only from a mobile device, it is now available for Pages and from a computer. Click here for more.

Twitter

Twitter is another social media platform where users can post and respond to short messages called Tweets. Tweets are limited to 140 characters and can be about virtually anything. You can post a tweet, reply to one, share a tweet you like (called a re-tweet or RT). You can also attach images, video, or links to every tweet you post. There’s a huge Catholic “population” on Twitter, collectively known by the moniker Catholic Twitter. And who exactly makes up Catholic Twitter? A lot. Priests, nuns, bishops, catholic bloggers, and yes – even Pope Francis. Don’t forget to follow him at @Pontifex! Click here for Twitter’s official getting started guide.

How to use Twitter

  • The details we’ve listed above on Facebook generally applies to all of social media, Twitter included. So populate your Twitter profile with the necessary information (a short bio of who you are, your parish website, etc.)
  • Twitter pioneered the use of Hashtags. Not sure what a hashtag is? Click here. You can use this to create a unique identity for your parish’s social media presence. For example, the Diocese of Calgary uses #CatholicYYC in its posts online. Our Lady of the Rockies in Canmore, Alberta, uses #OurLadyRocks. Be creative, and share it with your parishioners! Use this handy guide for creating your hashtags.
  • You can share on Twitter what you also share on Facebook: links to Catholic news, curated Catholic content, your own parish news, and volunteer opportunities. 
  • Follow other Catholic users and see what they tweet about! As with Facebook, this also helps make curating Catholic content much easier. 
  • Keep it active. If Facebook has a Timeline where you can see others’ posts, Twitter has a Feed. This feed is constantly updated; so don’t hesitate to tweet multiple times a day.

Instagram

Instagram is a popular photo-sharing social media platform where users can post images, video, as well as live-video. Unfortunately, content can only be posted on Instagram from a mobile device — meaning no computers. 

Tips: You can link Instagram posts to automatically share in Facebook. Use this feature with discretion. 

Other Social Media Platforms

There are several other social media platforms that may be useful for your parish’s needs that are not included in this guideline. Below is a list of other platforms at your disposal that you could use, and a brief description of what they are for.

  • Youtube: video hosting and sharing
  • Vimeo: video hosting and sharing
  • Flickr: hosting and sharing images
  • Pinterest: a virtual board on which users can pin and visually share interesting finds on the internet
  • Google+: Google’s own social media network, useful to boost your website’s SEO (search engine optimization)
  • Snapchat: a mobile-only social media platform where users can send visual (e.g. image and video) messages — hence, snap-chat.

OTHER Important Tips

  • Be visual
    Social media is largely visual, and having a visual element to your posts will help you get more Impressions (social media term for the number of times your post is displayed) and Engagement (likes, comments, shares, retweets, etc.). Thus instead of posting your Pastor’s Easter message on Facebook in plain text, why not create a short video?
  • Keep your Identity Consistent
    Keep your social media handle/username consistent on all social media platforms so people can find you easily. For example, the Diocese of Calgary’s handle on all social media accounts is @calgarydiocese. 
  • Be Active
    If you do decide on creating multiple social media accounts on different platforms for your parish, you must commit keep it active and updated constantly. Also do not just post content – be sure to engage with your followers by replying to comments and tweets. This makes your presence personable. 
  • Respect Intellectual Property
    Obey the law. Understand the copyrights accompanying any online content, whether they be images, music, videos, etc. Content posted online are to be treated similarly with content in other publications. 
  • Account Access & Credentials
    Login credentials for the parish’s social media accounts such as usernames, emails, and passwords must be constantly updated. Also, this document must be accessible by the social media administrator and the Pastor, or whomever the social media administrator reports directly to. This file must be treated as highly confidential. Regarding passwords: complexity is good, but length is also important (8-10 characters).
  • Privacy and Safe Environments
    Do not disclose information that is to be held in confidence. Also, any individual involved in managing social media accounts must not engage in private online conversations with children. A good rule of thumb is to keep all forms of engagement public (through comments, replies to tweets), instead of Direct Messages, commonly called DM’s.
  • Photography
    Permission to photograph children cannot be assumed, and neither is posting their pictures on social media. Photographs of children shouldn’t be posted on social media sites without the prior approval of the child’s parents or legal guardian. Also, take great care to avoid including identifying details or information with an image posted online. For a sample photo release form, see Page 6 of the Diocesan Social Media Policy.

Creating a Social Media Team

Creating and curating content for social media, as well as the overall maintenance of the parish’s social media accounts, can be challenging. Having a social media team of about 3-4 people that handles all these tasks is very valuable. There are a few things to consider when selecting the right people for this team.

Members must be carefully selected, screened, and have references and background checks obtained, just as with other parish ministries. Remember that just because someone is social media savvy does not mean that they are perfectly fit for the task. Social media admins represent the Church on every single post and comment that they write — these individuals must have good moral character, well-formed in the Catholic faith, and have the ability to think through the implications of what they are about to write.  It is important that the team works closely with their parish priest and office. In addition, it would be significantly beneficial if members of the social media team have a sense of brand consistency when creating content. 

Social Media Team Email

It is also worth considering creating a special email account for use by the social media team. This email account will then be the one used when creating social media accounts, instead of having to use someone else’s personal email. For example, the Calgary Diocese Social Media Committee uses a Gmail account that members use when logging in, signing up, and as backup email.

Scheduling and Creating Content

Social media administrators do not always need to be on a computer or mobile device in order to post content. Free resources, such as Facebook’s own Scheduling tool, HootSuite or the Buffer App account give social media administrators the ability to queue posts to be released on a certain date and time.     

Each tool may have unique features of their own, but essentially they all allow you to schedule social media posts in advance and monitor your accounts when someone mentions you or leave a comment. 

PROMOTING your Social Media Presence

Don't forget to promote your social media presence. Start engaging with your parishioners to ensure effective communication and build a loyal parishioners base.

Tips: Include social media buttons on your bulletin, website and provide accurate links to your parish social media networks. Integrate your social media information with your other Parish communications channels such as the: 

  • Bulletin
  • Email (in the signature)
  • Bulletin Board
  • Stationery - Letterhead, Business Cards
  • Website & other social media presence


Compiled by the Diocesan Social Media Committee, November 2017.

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