Today throughout the United States, children will gather at assemblies and flagpoles. Clergy and community leaders will come together at breakfasts, luncheons, and prayer services. May 3rd is the National Day of Prayer! The country’s attention turns to the heavens, and prayer is front and center. As a Catholic church, you know it’s your responsibility to keep the focus there long after this day is over. Eyes will drift back to computer screens and smartphones, but the opportunity is not lost! Read on to discover tech tips for using your online communications to promote divine communication!
Use Push Notifications
Some parish apps allow you to set up groups with push notifications. These are normally used by ministries or programs to send updates, but why not use them for inspiration and accountability? You could create one group for prayer notifications or segment them out according to interest. Here are a few ideas to get you started:
- Daily Mass readings in the morning
- An Angelus reminder at noon
- A Divine Mercy reminder at 3 p.m.
- An Ignatian examen reminder in the evening
Inspirational RSS Feeds
Most websites allow you to embed RSS feeds so you can provide a steady stream of outside content to your parishioners. Pope Francis (@Pontifex ) is consistently uplifting and challenging. Franciscan Media offers a saint-of-the-day feed (@SaintoftheDay ). Magnificat (@MagnificatMag ) and the Word Among Us (@wordamongus ) are daily devotional magazines based on the daily readings. Follow along with the classic nine-day prayer model with Pray More Novenas (@praymorenovenas ). This twitter feed continually offers new novenas, moving from one to the next, with each day’s prayer posted online.
Bring Jesus to Facebook
Your parish’s Facebook page is a great place to promote events and to give people a sense of parish life. (Looking for ideas?). Consider adding prayerful or inspirational posts into your rotation! As these show up in your parishoners’ news feeds, it may give them pause from their scrolling to remember what’s really important. LPi offers free art sized for Facebook each month. Dynamic links can get people clicking. Consider connecting people to the daily Mass readings straight from the USCCB .
Embed YouTube Videos into an eNewsletter
If your church communicates with parishioners via email, you may have some flexibility in your template. Some email marketing providers allow you to embed videos into the email, so parishioners can watch straight from their inbox. You can also link to videos, connecting parishioners in their browser.
- Fr. John Muir of Catholic Breakfast on praying the rosary.
- Ascension Presents with Fr. Mike Schmitz explaining the power of prayer.
- Bishop Barron’s take on the Lord’s Prayer.
- Life Teen offering a trendy explanation of the Eucharist.
- Bishop Don Hying sharing a few prayer methods.
How do you use your online communications to promote divine communication?