Social media is present everywhere you look. While it has its downfalls, if utilized properly, social media can be an amazing tool in strengthening your faith. Pope Francis revealed his insights into social media in a message, entitled Communication, and Mercy: A Fruitful Encounter, for the 50th World Day of Social Communications released by the Vatican in January 2016:
Emails, text messages, social networks and chats can also be fully human forms of communication. It is not technology which determines whether or not communication is authentic, but rather the human heart and our capacity to use wisely the means at our disposal. Social networks can facilitate relationships and promote the good of society, but they can also lead to further polarization and division between individuals and groups. The digital world is a public square, a meeting-place where we can either encourage or demean one another, engage in a meaningful discussion or unfair attacks. . . . The internet can help us to be better citizens. Access to digital networks entails a responsibility for our neighbour whom we do not see but who is nonetheless real and has a dignity which must be respected. The internet can be used wisely to build a society which is healthy and open to sharing.
The following list includes my favorite Catholic social media sites and why I like them:
Since we live in an age of technology, it is no wonder that the earthly leader of the Catholic Church has his own Instagram. Well, rather, he has people who post on his personal Instagram for him, but, nonetheless, it is pretty cool. The account @franciscus posts pictures and videos of Pope Francis in his day-to-day life taking care of and meeting with different people, along with descriptions, prayers, and petitions in multiple different languages.
Catholic HEART Workcamp
Catholic HEART Workcamp is one of the largest Catholic faith-based service camps in the country. It is a great way to inspire you to serve in your own community or to get your youth group involved in this organization.
This social media site is great for teens. It brings humor to the Catholic faith in a non-offensive way by posting memes and pictures that describe the Church and common things that Catholics face.
FOCUS is a ministry that can be seen all over the country on different college campuses. This is a great resource for any college-aged adults looking for some inspiration for living a Catholic lifestyle in a secular college world.
Catholic News Agency
Catholic News Agency is a great resource for learning about all things Catholic. If you follow them, your Twitter feed will be flooded with informational articles about Catholicism.
Catholic News Service
Similar to Catholic News Agency, Catholic News Service shares stories and information about how the Catholic Church and its members interact with the world around them. This is a great way to have information and news about the Church come into your life easily.
US Catholic Bishops
If the Pope can have his own social media account, then surely the entirety of the bishops in the United States can have their own, too. The account @USCCB shares Bible readings, inspiration, articles, and motivation from the Catholic Church that will help you remain faithful in your day-to-day life. Follow this account and browse it during your morning cup of coffee as a form of your daily devotional.
Catholic Relief Services
Catholic Relief Services is a charity that helps people all over the world. Their Twitter account, @CatholicRelief, shares information about their mission and the lives of people in different countries.
Father Mike Schmitz
Father Mike Schmitz is a priest for the Catholic student ministry at the University of Minnesota Duluth. He is great at connecting with teens and young adults, I really enjoy sharing his stories with my own children.
Catholic Memes is another social media account that is likely to catch the attention of young Catholics everywhere. The account @CatholicMemebase shares appropriate memes that describe what it is like to be a Catholic, as well as other Catholic articles.
For Example is a social media account that shares video blogs from a young Catholic couple, Erin and Isaac Summers. The account @SummersForExample shares videos from its YouTube channel that show the couple discussing common Catholic questions and issues. Really fascinating stuff!
Catholic and Proud
This Facebook account was made to instill pride in being Catholic in a world where being Christian is not considered cool or hip. The account @staycatholic posts information on the Catholic faith, prayer requests, prayer ideas, inspiration, and encouragement.
Social media is more present than ever and it does not look like it is going anywhere anytime soon. We all have a social media regimen and I hope these recommendations add a little more positivity to yours.