Friday, November 30, 2012
With most businesses using social networks such as Linked-In and Facebook, I thought of proposing an exclusive social network for the Church.
connect 30,000 to 40,000 Church members in Canada.
reach out to all the faithful who are not visible in Church Masses, services and lectures.
establish online catechism for the young and Church teachings for adults.
publish Eastern Christian Tradition to new generations.
bring Al-Macarrat and other scholarly work on-line.
build faith in the Bible and Church Tradition and link to existing scholarly Catholic and other Christian resources.
provide a link for young adults looking for jobs or advancement in their careers within the community.
provide an opportunity for business exchange between members and to businesses that wish to advertise their services to members.
Tonight I will talk about this project to attendees of my lecture. This is only one of the ways of using social networks to expand the Church
Thursday, November 29, 2012
In my current lectures at Jesus the King parish and in my writings too, I emphasize the need for the Church - the People of God, as Vatican II proclaims – to be a witness to Christ in all nations. You and I -the Church - need to invest what we have received in our lives to serve the Lord. This year is the 50th anniversary of the beginning of the Second Vatican Council. The Council ushered the reform that welcomes greater contribution of Christian lay persons to the building up of the Church.
First, let each one recall the good things he received from God, then see whether we can thank God for his great love. Not everyone is ready to thank God. Some of us are hurt by events that they encountered such as the death of a loved one, or the terminal disease of another. When we see innocent people die in a storm like Sandy, or worse, in a war like the one in Syria, we can’t ignore them and their families. Usually we blame God for the miseries that beset us, yet we are taught that he loves us. If you do not believe that God really loves you as you are then you need to assess your faith by asking a trusted pastor or spiritual director in Church. Second, we need to pray with the Church, discern the will of God for each one for he loves us in good times and bad, and work with the families to bring them healing and relief according to his will. The program of discerning God’s will in our lives initiated by St. Ignatius Loyola is a great program which will be introduced at Jesus the King Church shortly.
Third, The Knights of Columbus should be aware that they constitute an important organ in the Church’s mission which Bishop Ibrahim spoke about recently. In a recent interview with him conducted by Charity TV, he mentioned the need for reaching out to kids, teenagers, and young adults. Awareness should help us desire to give out of what we have whether in education we received, in talents, or in money; for everything we received was given to us as a gift by God through parents who loved us, families, schools and society that cared for us. Our thanksgiving should imitate Christ who “though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form he humbled himself and became obedient unto death, even death on a cross.”(Phil 2: 6-8).
Fourth, The Knights of Columbus at Jesus the King Council have already started a program to help the Church in need through donating for children’s education at the Patriarchal School of the Melkite Catholic Patriarchate in Jerusalem. Your donations can be given at http://www.jerusalemstudents.org - More on-line projects can be carried out with the same spirit. This is particularly important to help suffering Christians in the Middle East where our Lord was born and the Church was formed by Him. Communication is most important to speak to and listen to others in Church. Since many of us use social networks on computers, we can build a computer-based social network that is exclusive for the faithful in the Melkite Catholic Church in Canada as well as for the members of the Knights of Columbus in Canada and beyond. I have proposed such projects to the local leadership of both. The return on these projects is immense in terms of the many new people who will join us through these networks and the revenues for the Church and its servants the Knights of Columbus. We have enough talents and experience to carry out such projects from Jesus the King Church to the glory of Jesus the King. In this Christmas, may the “infant of Bethlehem” be glorified in us and the rest of the world and may the joy in the Lord fill us all.