Welcome to Missionaries to the Digital Continent, my new blog at Catholic Tech Talk! For those of you I don’t know, my name is Jonathan Sullivan.
I should admit from the start that I am not a tech professional. I’ve been interested in technology all my life, but it wasn’t until college that I really dove in — especially in the area of web design. Although I majored in theology I taught myself html, css, and eventually php. I supported myself during my grad studies in theology by serving as my school’s director of instructional technology. My main responsibilities included maintaining the institutional website (including, at one point, a complete code overhaul), administering the school’s online courses (run on the Blackboard system), and keeping hardware running for as long as possible.
I currently serve as the director of catechetical ministries for the Diocese of Springfield in Illinois. I oversee a department of eight offices that cover everything from Catholic schools to overseas missions, family life to campus ministry. I am blessed to work with a wonderful group of directors who do great work on behalf of the Church. I also co-chair the technology committee of the National Conference for Catechetical Leadership and host NCCL’s monthly podcast, Catechetical Leader.
In both of these roles I am exploring how to use new technologies — including online media and social networking — to teach and spread our Catholic faith.
The name of this blog, Missionaries to the Digital Continent, comes from the words of Pope Benedict XVI, who has described the world of social media as new grounds for evangelization. In my posts I will explore how the Church can utilize social media for its mission to “make disciples of all nations.” (Mt 28:19) I am convinced that, if the faith is to be passed on, especially to the so-called “digital natives,” the Church must learn to navigate this new continent. I am particularly sensitive to offering practical, “how-to”-style pieces since, in my experience, most people working in the Church don’t avoid technology because they don’t see the value, but because they simply don’t know where to start.
I look forward to sharing ideas and engaging in conversation with you. God bless you in all that you do!