When Pope Benedict announced the Year of Faith, he described it as a time to “reinforce our faith in [Christ] and to proclaim him with joy to the people of our time.” There are plenty of ways to live this out throughout the year: you can frequent the sacraments more often; listen to guest speakers; join Year of Faith study groups; or even make your way through the Catechism of the Catholic Church.
But in our digital world of Facebook, blogs, YouTube, and more, there are several ways you can celebrate the Year of Faith online. Here are three of the best:
1. Learn Your Faith
St. Anselm of Canterbury famously said, “Faith seeks understanding.” For us Catholics faith is not some wispy, blind belief. It’s informed and intelligent. Therefore when you learn more about your Catholic beliefs, your faith grows in turn.
The Internet offers plenty of ways to do this. One of the best is Catholic.com, the online home of the Catholic Answers apostolate. There you’ll find articles, videos, podcasts, and discussion forums on every topic relating to Christ and his Church.
Other websites like Vatican.va and USCCB.org allow you to learn what the Church teaches straight from the original documents. When you visit these sites you can rest assured that you’re not viewing some distorted version of Church teaching.
2. Baptize your social media.
Another reason Pope Benedict XVI launched this Year of Faith is to evangelize—“to lead men and women out of the desert they often are in and toward the place of life: friendship with Christ who gives us fullness of life.”
Those of us on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, YouTube, blogs and other online platforms are in a great position to help strengthen those friendships. We are connected to thousands of people through these tools, which provide easy platforms to share our faith.
During this Year of Faith, consider “baptizing” your social media accounts, giving them a uniquely Catholic flavor. For example, maybe once a day, share a favorite Catholic video on your Facebook wall. You might link to Fr. Robert Barron’s excellent YouTube commentaries, found at WordonFire.org, where he covers new movies like “The Dark Knight” or “The Amazing Spider Man” from a Catholic perspective.
You might also share popular Catholic blog articles from NewAdvent.org, the best one-stop destination for the best Catholic posts each day. Or you could highlight the saint of the day with a graphic or article.
Don’t go overboard though. If you post twenty-three pictures of Our Lady, seventeen Bible-verses, and nineteen-links to saint biographies all within an hour, your friends and followers will just un-follow you. Your page or profile doesn’t have to be “all Catholic, all the time” to be effective. Just sprinkle in Catholic content every now and then and you’ll go a long way to evangelizing your friends. After all, you might be the only Catholic someone follows through social media, so let the Year of Faith be your opportunity to share the Gospel.
3. Connect with other Catholics
The Year of Faith was not designed to be an individual activity. We need others to join us, push us, help us, and strengthen us. So how do you do that online?
Well if you’re a Catholic mother, try CatholicMom.com. A teen or young adult? BustedHalo.com is the place for you. Interested in Catholic teaching and apologetics? You’ll want to join the free Catholic.com forums. You’ll also find community through comment boxes, blog forums, Facebook pages, and more.
The Year of Faith is grounded on forming our minds, sharing our faith, and inviting others into community. Our 21st-century technology helps us do all of that.