From Monday 19 November through Friday 30 November 2018 the International Formation Center (CIF) gathered about 70 Vincentian confreres, representing 90 countries from around the world, at the Motherhouse in Paris to share and learn how they might better create and promote a culture of vocations in the Congregation of the Mission worldwide. All of the men who gathered were engaged at some level with vocation promotion. Communication was in Spanish, French, and English
Day 11: Thursday 29 November 2018
Girolamo Grammatico, a married man from Italy who works for the Curia in the field of communication, discussed How to Make an Effective Content Plan. He gave an introduction to the internet. The digital world and social media is becoming more and more popular. He described some of the history, theory and development of the internet. Ask: To whom are you communicating and what message do we want to communicate?
Social Networking: these are now very much part of our lives. Facebook: very important to share videos, pictures, information, etc. Instagram: photos and videos only: youth use this. Twitter: daily there are 250 million tweets, short messages, photos and videos; it has more privacy than Facebook. YouTube: for videos. LinkedIn: you can find photos and used mostly professionally. Snapchat: used by the youth, an instant chatting software: you send a photo, it is looked at, and it disappears after 24 hours; most of the youth use this. Cloud Storage: virtual space we can create at home and then we can get access to anywhere in the world. Hashtags #: allow popularity on Instagram and it makes information easier to find.
The internet gives youth immediate gratification: quick responses to their needs whether it is communication or information; they do not need to wait. There is a great power in the internet; it will allow you to change the world, at least in some way, don’t underestimate the influence or power of the internet and your ability to bring the Vincentian message to the youth.
Girolamo presented the group with a model to use to organize a communication when we wish to publish something on the internet. For instance, determine who your audience is, who you wish to reach on the internet (e.g. the elderly, medical doctors, male youth interested in serving the poor). What is your message? Why are you doing this? What kind of emotion do you wish to communicate?, etc.
Fr. Jorge Luis Rodriguez, C.M. discussed Digital Communication in Vocation Ministry: Young people these days are using cell phones and computers; it is their world and if we want to communicate with them, we need to communicate where they are at. Hashtags the Vincentian communication office uses: the #famvin400, #missioncm. Jorge spoke about the communication office in the Curia. Historically it was the Vincentiana publication and other publications. We also have FamVin site and CMGlobal. Technology helps: it helps in our mission, Pope Francis invites us to use the various communication options available to us. Globalization helps us and the church calls us to use the power of communication. The communication office wishes to communicate with everyone: between confreres, within and between provinces, laity and Congregation, the Vincentian Family, the Congregation and the poor, etc. Three people work in the office at present. Jorge works as the director. Pablo does the graphic design work. Other confreres help too. The main, new (as of July 2018) international web site is www.cmglobal.org It is always changing and growing. Among other things it provides links and information about all the provinces. There is information for the Vocation Directors and they can create links to any sites we want. Past digital copies of the Vincentiana are available on this site as well as the letters from the Superior General for lent and advent. The office asks for articles to help promote our charism from the Vocation Directors (no more than 150 words). We do have to be concerned about copyright. They also need help correcting writing styles in each language and they are always in need of pictures! On YouTube go to “Finding Vince 400” for several published videos.
Keeping your privacy is almost impossible in today’s digital world; even your cell phone keeps track of where you are and anytime you do a digital search, you let people know where you are.
A committee of vocation directors created a Final Document for the group to examine and make suggestions. It is hoped that the whole group will vote to accept this document and to publish it.
Jim Osendorf, C.M.
Vocation Director, Western Province USA