Catholic Communication Campaign helps us spread the Good News
I’m sorry if this seems rushed, but I’ve been so busy covering the ordinations and prayer services the past few weeks that I haven’t had time to sit and think about what I want to say about the Office of Communications. I thought things would get easier when we became a digital-only publication and didn’t have print deadlines anymore. But we’re as busy as ever.
I want everyone to know that the Western New York Catholic is still around. Maybe we should bill ourselves as WNYCatholic.org. That’s our website that we’re constantly updating with stories of parishes and people, school and social issues that make the Diocese of Buffalo the rich community it is. We write about the Masses and the masses.
Currently, the office staff is down to three people. I remember when we had 20, all doing unique jobs writing stories, taking photos, producing videos, editing the Directory, dealing with outside media, and getting national recognition for doing an outstanding job. We’ve won several awards that hung in our office.
Joe Martone, Nicole Dzimira and I really want to continue that high standard of communications, but again, we’re just three people trying to cover the same ground we did when we had the large staff.
In the past two years we have reinvented the way we do our jobs. Stories that used to be spread out over three reporters are now being written by me, and occasionally Joe. These can be found at WNYCatholic.org. Nicole produces a video series with Bishop Mike Fisher called “Journeys and Insights” where he updates everyone on what he sees as he travels from parish to parish and event to event. Her main duty is to manage the diocesan website. She also maintains several Facebook, Twitter and YouTube accounts.
A lot of what we do isn’t seen publicly, or rather it is, just not online. Those 175th anniversary banners you see hanging in your church were designed by Nicole. Joe organized the printing and packaging of them. I help a lot of people find archival material needed for one project or another being conducted at the Catholic Center, which is like home base for many diocesan offices. Joe has spent his weekends setting up interviews with Bishop Mike and trying to understand the needs of the parishes and desires of the parishioners.
Communication is about sharing and explaining, helping others to understand the tragedies in our world and showing them how to help. I’ve covered the crash of Flight 3407 and the shooting at the Jefferson Avenue Tops. I’ve also shared the message of Popes John Paul II and Francis from two World Youth Days.
With the new Family of Parish model taking place, we’d like to report on the developments the families experience. We can share the best practices and point out obstacles to watch out for. Maybe we can even point the families to the right offices and people who help avoid some of those roadblocks.
We’re doing the best we can. If you like what you see, please give to the Catholic Communication Campaign so we can continue. If you don’t like what we’re doing, please give to the Catholic Communication Campaign so we can do better.
I wish we could do more. Please let us know what’s happening in your community. If you’re able, write a story and take some photos yourselves and we’ll post it.
In 1979, the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops established the Catholic Communication Campaign to respond to the national and local communications needs of the Church. Unlike most collections, half the money collected stays in the diocese and the other half is sent to the national office to fund the development and production of a wide range of media initiatives. This year’s campaign takes place the weekend of June 11-12.