Considering that the majority of those involved in producing Catholic media are more likely concerned with receding hairlines and facelifts than body piercings and Facebook – is it any wonder that their publications are largely ignored by today’s youth?
Youth Speak News is an exciting and relatively new feature (2003) of the Catholic Register national weekly that gives youth a chance to explore their own faith in light of contemporary issues. Youth are invited to share their views by responding to weekly opinion columns and articles or, if so inclined, to apply to be one of its young writers.
Salt & Light TV, which literally took root and grew out of the Canadian media coverage of World Youth Day in Toronto in 2002 – is another venue for youth to express and explore their Catholic faith. S & L, currently a subscriber-based digital cable channel, will soon be included as part of the Rogers VIP cable television package. S & L has produced engaging, high quality, meaningful programming on challenging issues of faith.
With a hot air balloon pilot by the name of Moses guiding us – how could we fail?
The pre-launch preparations took about 30 minutes – a pretty much ‘hurry up and wait’ event as giant fans filled the massive balloon with air. Then within a span of about 30 seconds 8 of us scrambled into the wicker style basket that would be our home for the next hour or so.
After the initial heart-pounding ‘shock and awe’ of launch and jolting blasts of hot air from the propane burners – we soon settled into the indescribable beauty, exhilaration and tranquility of flight.
Time stood still as we absorbed and marveled at the magnificent serenity of the moment and the lush landscape below. Moses had delivered to us, sweeping vistas of Waterloo Region . . . the ‘promised land’.
Our journey soon came to a fitting ecumenical end as we landed safely in the barren corn field of a welcoming Mennonite family.
Thanks for the great Christmas gift kids!
Photo: M. Redfearn
In 1966 John Lennon got into a world of trouble by saying during an interview that the Beatles were more popular than Jesus. He later clarified, correctly so, that his statement was taken out of context and that rather than implying that the Beatles were more important than Jesus, he was merely pointing out that rock and roll music at that time was probably more influential in the life of the typical teenager than was Jesus. Read more
During his recent whirlwind tour of the United States a number of media commentators noted the obvious differences between the more reserved, scholastic Pope Benedict XVI and his gregarious, camera-hugging predecesor, John Paul II.
John Paul II was a media superstar who could bedazzle and work a crowd as well if not better than any secular pop star could ever hope to.
Yet beneath the charming facade was a conservative who strongly discouraged dissent from the official party line. His more liberal-thinking bishops sometimes learned this fact the hard way after he added a punitive provision to the 1983 Code of Cannon Law so that those who disagreed with even nondefinitive Church teachings could be penalized.
Of course Benedict XVI’s reputation as a razor-sharp intellectual and formal ‘papal enforcer’ preceded his American visit. He also has the unenviable task of following in the daunting footsteps and filling the shoes of the flamboyant fisherman from Poland.
Regardless of the ‘medium’ or Pope who fills the role as spiritual leader of the Holy See, their human flaws, for example, encouraging freedom of religion while at the same time limiting freedom of thought, will always result in an inevitable tension between the medium and the message.
Perhaps the late Canadian media guru and Catholic convert Marshall McLuhan should have the last word:
“In Jesus Christ there is no distance or separation between the medium and the message. It’s the one case where we can say the medium and the message are in complete unison.”