Monday, August 09, 2010

CNMC report

Last year I was the only sister at the Catholic New Media Celebration in San Antonio. That didn't happen this year, with the CNMC held a few miles from our Boston motherhouse! This year there were four Daughters of St. Paul and one Little Sister of the Poor in the Archdiocese's new office center. Among the speakers were Fr. Reed from Catholic TV (originated with the TV Mass in 1955 under the media-appreciating Cardinal Cushing), Lino Rulli and Cardinal O'Malley (another media-appreciating Cardinal). You can get a sense of the whole from Fr. Jay (iPadre) Finelli's podcast, full of on-site interviews. The iPadre was the first podcasting priest, and just recorded his 200th episode. (Note to Mom: you can hear me exactly halfway through the show at 30:15.) (Congratulations, Fr. Jay! I hope you can make it to our studio while the choir records the next album.) K of C communications specialist Brian Caulfield prepared a wonderful blog post summing up the conference, if you don't have time for a podcast.
I have to say I found Rulli's presentation the most thought provoking. With his background in broadcasting, Lino now makes a living as the "Catholic Guy" on Sirius Radio. He is smart, funny and articulate. He can also be pretty crass. As one sometime listener put it, "some of his content is unredeemed." But he insists (adamantly) on his hallmark of his as central to what he is trying to do: reach the "unredeemed" among cultural Catholics. Careful, pious language may be comforting to the devout, but it leaves the cultural Catholic cold, maybe even alienated, thinking, "I have nothing in common with these people; Church stuff really does not have a message for me." Here's Lino in his own words:

What do I, as a blogging nun, have to learn from a 38-year-old Italian guy who refers to things that make me blush? A lot, really. Because what Lino said (in his own inimitable way) sounded very much like something Ronald Knox wrote before Lino Rulli was even born; before I was even born! Here it is:
The hardest part of the author's task, as I see it, will be to introduced some human element.... He will portray the teaching Church, not as a harassed official 'handing out' information at a series of Press-conferences, but as a patient pioneer washing out the gold from the turbid stream of her own memories. Everything will come alive at his touch...
Lino and others (especially the podcastanswerman Cliff Ravenscraft) also repeated that a podcaster (or blogger, as the case may be) can't try to speak to everyone, broadcast, as it were, but focus on what he or she is passionate about. Not only will the person then be able to speak or write fluently about it, other people who are passionate about the same thing will flock to join the conversation.

4 comments:

Jeff Geerling said...

Great summary! I've also linked to it from:

http://archstl.org/webdev/post/catholic-new-media-celebration-mmx

And I'm keeping your card on hand - I hope to talk to you more - best of luck!

Melanie B said...

Sister Anne,

My husband and I agree it was lovely to meet you and Sr Margaret. I've already retold your wonderful story about your sister and Hurricane Katrina to several people.

Melanie Bettinelli

harv681 said...

I suppose that was the one about Jane and Trailer Jim...?

Sr Anne said...

It was indeed, the wedding of the century story. Maybe even the Millennium...
Thanks, Melanie: what lovely memories we all shared!