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Texas Tales

I returned Monday evening after eight days in Texas. The 85º temperatures in Virginia seem very cool and comfortable after eight straight days of 100º+ temperatures in Houston and San Antonio.

Most of the details for the rehearsal dinner are under control. We will be gathering at the Astin Mansion in Bryan, Texas. Dinner will be a Mexican buffet. I am trying to decide what to serve as dessert. I am thinking pecan pie with Bluebell Homemade Vanilla ice cream on top. They also suggested a fruit tart or cheesecake. I’ve got some time to work out those details.

I spent the weekend in San Antonio attending the Catholic New Media Celebration sponsored by SQPN. It was both inspirational and instructional. I enjoyed meeting many bloggers. Most especially, it was fun to chat with Danielle Bean, Julie Davis, and Heidi Hess Saxton. Make sure you are checking out their blogs on a regular basis.

If you are not familiar with SQPN, you are missing out on some great Catholic programming. Fr. Roderick’s Daily Breakfast Podcast is food for the heart and spirit. These are also the folks that put together That Catholic Show. It was a joy to explore and celebrate the evangelization efforts available through the new media.

Speaking of evangelization, Fr. Dave Dwyer gave the opening keynote address. Fr. Dwyer hosts a three hour talk radio program every evening on the Catholic channel on Sirius/XM radio. He was a director for MTV when he felt called to the priesthood. He is now using his media experience to evangelize through his program Busted Halo. Check out the Busted Halo web site for more information.

Fr. Dwyer offered a very inspirational talk comparing the work of new media evangelists with the evangelization efforts of St. Paul. Some of the points were pretty humorous. For example, Paul had a user ID. He was born Saul, but for evangelization purposes he was Paul. Paul kept his day job as a tent maker. Evangelism was not a means of support. St. Paul reached people all over the known world, just as today’s internet evangelists do. St. Paul dealt with both the secular and the sacred. He was comfortable with people who were different but did not compromise his message to fit in. He reached out to those who were not in the pews. And just like St. Paul, today’s new media evangelists need to keep running the race.

However, on the other side of the coin, Danielle Bean gave a wonderful presentation reminding us that the internet with its instant communication, blogs, and podcasts is a great tool, but not an end in and of itself. New media evangelists need to regularly unplug and make sure they are still connected to the real world. That is very good advice that I have taken to heart.

No word as to where the New Media Celebration will land next year, but I would love to attend again and continue this cyber journey in the footsteps of St. Paul.

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