The Use of Mass Media
for the Divine Word Missionaries in the Western Province
Janssen used the printing press very effectively in his mission. Setting
up the printing press was the first order of business as he began in
Steyl. We who continue his work should be using mass media in modern and
There are four areas where communication is vitally important for us
as a province:
- The intercommunication among ourselves.
- The use of communication in our parishes and ministries
- The use of mass media as a source of evangelization for those
who are not members of our parish.
- National and international broadcasts.
1. In our internal communication we now use the Internet
for much of our communications. The Internet is an immediate and
effective way of communicating messages throughout the province. To a
large extent, we've done away with the printed word. We can also use
Facebook to interact with smaller groups on issues that are general and
not private. We should look into developing a secure section of the
province web page where we can have blogging of ideas. If ever there is
a need for a video presentation for example from the provincial or
District superior, this presentation can be made on YouTube and then
attached to our Internet communications.
Thanks to Skype we can have video presentations and communication
over large areas. Skype can be used for communication within the
province as well as among the other provinces here in the USA and also
communication around the world with other SVDs.
Thanks to digital cameras, photos and videos can be used in all our
The province website can be a source of information for province
members as well as those inquiring about the work of the province from
Mass media in our parishes and ministries
2. We can effectively use mass media also in our parishes
and various ministries. Facebook is a very effective way of
communication for small groups within the parish with issues that are
general and not personal. Facebook and emails are also good ways of
notifying many people of the parish of larger gatherings.
It's very important that every parish have a webpage. Here
information is given about times of Mass, access to the Sacraments, how
to visit the parish and the various ministries that one would like to
participate in. The website can be a place of communication of the
pastor and various leaders.
Today's large screen televisions can be purchased and placed in the
front of church. We can have PowerPoint presentations of music,
readings and even video presentations of activities in the parish. These
screens can be used as a way of enhancing the message of the sermon. In
the long run, this can save money by eliminating the need for missaletts
and song books.
For members of the parish who are homebound and not able to attend a
Sunday Mass, there is a free program called ustream.tv. With this
program a camera can be set up in the back of church or in the choir
loft connected to a computer. Through this program, people at home can
watch a live Mass through their computers. This is a simple way of
making the Mass available to those who otherwise wouldn't be able to
share the community celebration. What would be important is having lay
ministers presence at the conclusion of the mass to share communion with
those who are sick and homebound. Having a person on the parish council
whose role is communication and public relations is important. This
person will help to know media outlets in the parish and work to
initiate and improve all the communication possibilities.
Using mass media to evangelize those who do not attend church
3. Mass media is an effective way of sharing the Good
News with people who no longer attend mass as well as people who are
non-churched in the Parish. The media can be a great tool of
evangelization. One of the simple ways is placing presentations on a
video through YouTube that is connected to the webpage. This can be
sermons, teachings and music. Another source of sharing the Good News
is to purchase or obtain time on a local radio station and offer a
presentation. There is also the possibility of using television. The
Sunday Mass on the local television station or even offering a
presentation by the pastor or a Parish teacher is an effective use of
National and International broadcasts.
4. Wordnet Productions is a ministry of the province that
shares the Good News on a national and international basis through:
- a weekly half-hour television program,
- a daily Scriptural message on smart phones through an App called
- and the production of documentaries and other special television
A weekly email blast is sent to all SVD's around the world. Those who
open the email can view the weekly TV program. There are plans to soon
have a live 24 hour webcasting station presenting various programs in
line with the SVD charism. This will allow programs in English, Spanish,
Vietnamese, Tagalog and Polish.
We should encourage members to publish books and articles.
These are but indications of what could be done on a local and
worldwide basis with judicious funding. We are presented today with
financially viable options of carrying on the mission of evangelization
in ways undreamed of by St. Arnold Janssen.
Submitted by m. manning, svd