Tag Archives: faith

More than meets the eye

Twitter posts these days are propelled by more than just 140 characters. The majority of tweets contain visual images:  photos, graphics and even movies. Why? Twitter itself recommends visual information to capture more “impressions”… people catching a tweet and spending more than a split second on it.

Really, it makes sense… particularly if the visual image captures the essence of the brief tweet. One of our recent tweets that has garnered a number of impressions is this one.

Deir Mar Musa al-Habashi Tweet

Deir Mar Musa al-Habashi – Syria

After requoting a tweet from the Diocese of Syracuse @SyrDiocese: Let us keep our eyes focused on Christ! My thought turned right away to St. John of the Cross, man and mystic truly focused on Christ… particularly Christ on the Cross. I added this quote from John of the Cross to the original tweet: “One act done in charity is more precious in God’s sight than all the visions and communications [with God] possible.

I was tuning into @SyrDiocese reminding us to keep our eyes focused just as John of the Cross had prompted us to consider what is seen in God’s sight. We all need those reminders. Of course, this eventually led me later in the week, after the Daily Office to consider what I have seen, AND how it has changed my life.

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Frenco Pecchio – Milano, Itally

And so the post above. Once again, the depth of John of the Cross’ wisdom propels the conversation, but the image is amazing:  a 4th or 5th century fresco in an ancient monastery 80 km north of Damascus, Syria; a place I knew well, because I had prayed my Morning Office there in the Spring of 2011 at the beginning of the “Arab Spring” in Syria! The Monastery of Saint Moses the Abyssinian is perched high upon a cliff in the desert near Lebanon. There I encountered God in a profound way that truly penetrated my soul, as St. John writes.

A short tweet… an image. Far more than meets the eye!

Building Community… one tweet at a time

Just a year ago, I received a call:  “Can we ramp up a program to help our deacons broaden their evangelization outreach?” It was a great question… one that I pondered, prayed upon and researched for several days. In the end, it occured to me that Twitter, of all the social media possibilities, offered a great potential.

Why? I know, most people are Facebook or Instagram stalwarts. Somehow, the simplicityBW_deaconspeaking
and brevity of Twitter appealed to me. And it offered a perk (at no cost), TweetDeck, a platform for providing a single twitter account for an entire organization to use. Hmmm… now that had potential among 75 active permanent deacons in our diocese!

Sparing you the back story, TweetDeck now embraces @deaconspeaking. That’s a twitter account that, “is the official Twitter Team account of the Deacon Community, Diocese of Syracuse, New York. Our goal is to evangelize to all people.” We don’t have many followers, yet, but we’re working on it. How?

PFrancis_RequoteFirst, deacons are signing on as members of the TweetDeck Team. Secondly, we’re learning how to leverage popular tweets. Pope Francis is a great example! He usually receives 20-30 thousand likes on each tweet. Well, we broaden his message by drilling down into scripture.

This requote/retweet of the Pontiff’s message on Friday in the 5th Week of Lent is a good example. We simply reflected back to the original Gospel passage that his incredible tweet is based upon. It provides a vehicle for a meaningful message on our part as a deacon community, but more importantly, it grounds Pope Francis’ message in the scripture that our parishioners encountered on Ash Wednesday.

It’s a start. To date, six of us are on the team. We are tweeting daily (as many times as we can) and hopefully reaching out to our parishioners who are on Twitter. As our Strategic Plan states, “The new @deaconspeaking TweetDeck Team account is the latest addition to diocesan efforts to build an on-going evangelization presence via social media.”

Keep us in your prayers! (Better yet, follow us on Twitter at @deacondspeaking.)

1 – 2 -3… IGNITE!

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What better event to launch the use of our new Syracuse Deacons Community @deaconspeaking Twitter Team account than to share our diocesan Catholic Men’s Conference, IGNITE!  There was so much to share at this year’s event that coincided with the Solemnity of The Annunciation.

T-Shirt_Logo TweetThe excitement among the nearly 1,000 men gathered was worthy of sharing. This ninth year is based on a perfect formula for success:

Spiritual Graces – Mass, Reconciliation & Adoration

Catholic Challenges – 3 Very Dynamic and Different Speakers throughout the day

Community – Ample breaks, plentiful lunch, solid vendor support with plenty of space to mix and meet others with shared interests.

Six tweets during the day captured many of the conference highlights. And now, other deacons in the Diocese of Syracuse are joining the Twitter Team to ramp up our evangelization efforts.

If you’d like to follow us, here’s the info:

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Special Delivery

UPDATE:  Saturday, 21 March 2015 10:48AM

IGNITE 2015 – Syracuse,  New York
Steve Ray is at the podium now with a talk focused on St. Paul. Wow! Connecting us with a feisty Apostle Paul. Just 40 minutes ago Bishop Robert Cunningham opened this year’s Ignite Catholic Men’s with Mass and a Homily emphasizing the role of the father in the family, who is strong because he cares!

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Nearly a thousand men are here: Fathers, Sons, Old & Young. Hands of men Rising Up – Being Strong.

Join us: Inspiring men, by the gifts and fruits of the Holy Spirit,  to ignite their Catholic faith in everyday life.

UPDATE:  Saturday, 21 March 2015 11:50AM

1. What does it mean to suffer for Christ?
2. If Paul was here today speaking, talking about today’s culture, what challenge would he offer you personally?

UPDATE:  Saturday, 21 March 2015 12:30PM

Not By Bread Alone!

Great barbecue today and time to share at table…
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UPDATE:  Saturday, 21 March 2015 12:45PM

Being Strong – The Sacrament of Reconciliation

Each year at Ignite, hundreds of men participate in the Sacrament of Reconciliation. A small army of priests is on hand as men que in the mezzanine. God’s grace is so manifest in the sacraments here at the Ignite Catholic Men’s Conference!
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UPDATE:  Saturday, 21 March 2015 1:28PM

Curtis Martin is giving all of us… 925 strong… a reality check. The Catholic Community is in place, but it’s not alive. “Where is the master circuit breaker that needs to be flipped on to bring it to life?

30 million have left the Catholic Church in the last generation. Food for thought!
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UPDATE:  Saturday, 21 March 2015 2:00PM

Curtis Martin Wrap-up: Three questions that roll out of the presentation.
1. What was your 4:00?
2. What area of the culture could you set on fire?
3. How will you gather a “band of brothers”?

Coming up: Fr. Larry Richards

Raising the bar: “In 5 years there will be a Holy War in this country!”

Fr. Larry spesks with authority… with conviction and challenges each is to be crucified in Christ. He urges us to pray: “Read the Bible each day… in the morning, no Bible, no bread… at night, no Bible, no bed.”

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Gathering as Men

“Many of the men that attend regular meetings of parish fellowship meeting have had an
encounter with the person of Jesus Christ at some point in their lives. That encounter, as it has been told in thousands of meetings, is as varied and diverse as life itself. For many it marked a milestone event – a significant moment in which the man giving witness came
to know the reality of the living Christ as he has never before experienced. For some the encounter was the defining moment – a moment of pure grace that made faith in Jesus Christ a compelling belief. For others the encounter with Jesus was a gradual commitment, a combination of many moments of grace that joined to make an undeniable mosaic of God’s goodness.”

“Why Men Get Together” (From Catholic Men’s Fellowship Cincinnati)

Saturday, February 27, 2010 men from all over the Diocese of Syracuse will gather to share, pray and experience the fellowship of being a Catholic man. Ignite 2010 Catholic Men’s Conference will offer three nationally acclaimed speakers:  Jesse Romero, Fr. Larry Richards and Sean Forrest as well as our own Bishop Robert J. Cunningham.

Plan to attend and be part of a day-long experience geared for men, enriching our faith experiences and helping to build God’s Kingdom!