It's time again for the annual Catholic Communication Campaign, the campaign that connects people with Christ. Each year, on the second weekend of June - June 10 and 11 this year - parishes throughout the diocese participate in this second collection which helps the men and women in the Office of Communications bring the Good News to you.
In his World Communications Day address in 2016, Pope Francis said, "Communication has the power to build bridges, to enable encounter and inclusion, and thus to enrich society." By taking up this collection, your parish is helping to do just that. Your donation will help the Church spread the gospel message locally, nationally and even internationally. With your help, bridges are built, people feel included, and society is enriched.
The Office of Communications is comprised of several different components - social media, public relations, radio, television and newspaper. As you flip through this supplement, you will learn more about the work and special projects the staff is involved with to connect people to the church and Christ.
No one would be surprised to hear how social media has exploded in the past few years. Although we have a person dedicated to social media in our office, he is not the only one responsible for it. Various other staff members are also involved in updating websites, uploading podcasts and videos, posting on Facebook, Tumblr and Instagram, and tweeting. Maybe you're following us or would be interested in following us on one of these platforms.
The Western New York Catholic, the monthly newspaper of the Diocese of Buffalo, recently experienced some exciting changes. They've changed the layout of the paper and it can now be picked up at all local Tops markets. It is still available at all parishes, but now even more people have the opportunity to find out what is happening in the diocese.
Did you know that last year, Daybreak TV Productions, the television component of the Office of Communications, taped the Christmas Mass that was shown on ABC-TV affiliates across the country? This was not their first time doing this. Just think of how many people across the country, who are not able to get out to church, were able to watch this beautiful Mass. Daybreak does this every weekday, too, by taping the daily and Sunday Masses from the chapel at St. Joseph Cathedral.
Catholic Charities recently won a Communicator Award of Distinction after bringing in the Daybreak Production team to create an on-line video for fundraising. It is the eighth national video award given to Catholic Charities of Buffalo and Daybreak in the past five years.
In addition to the print and electronic media, the Office of Communications also sends out dozens and dozens of news releases and deals with the media. Media relations is one of the busiest areas of the Office of Communications. It involves promoting events throughout the diocese and giving the Church a proper voice, in good times and in bad.
Maybe you saw Bishop Richard J. Malone on TV when priests were ordained, or during Holy Week, or on the first day of school. The media came out because we alerted them to these events. It's just another way the people of the diocese can see their church and their bishop and all that is happening in the diocese.
Have you ever needed to look up a parish phone number or website? Maybe you needed to find a Mass time at a neighboring church because you could not make it to your own parish. You can find all this information and more in the Catholic Directory. This is the fourth year the directory has been online, at www.buffalodiocese.org, for everyone's convenience. It contains contact information for the parishes, schools, priests, men and women religious, social service agencies, hospitals and cemeteries in the diocese. The Catholic Directory is updated monthly, so it is always current. Your support of the campaign helps us with this service to you.
The CCC also funds national and international communications efforts. Half the funds collected in dioceses are sent to the national office to support these projects. Much has happened this past year. Your generosity has allowed the national office to provide many things including TV and e-books in five developing countries, daily audio podcasts and video reflections on the day's readings and engaging thousands of Catholics daily through social media.
Without the funds from the annual Catholic Communication Campaign collection, the Office of Communications would not be able to provide the wide array of programs, publications and services that are such a staple in the lives of Catholics in Western New York. Your generosity keeps the 19 men and women in the Office of Communications busy promoting and telling the story of the Catholic Diocese of Buffalo.
Please join us in spreading the gospel by supporting the Catholic Communication Campaign on June 10 and 11. Donate through your parish, through the Office of Communications or online.