Zoom Web Conferencing

Recently, the Chancery has begun using Zoom Web Conferencing.  Zoom is a web solution that offers the ability to hold one to one or group video meetings that can be used across all platforms; Windows, Mac, iOS and Android.  All that is required is a computer with Internet access and a webcam, speakers and microphone.  Some users may find that a headset with microphone will provide a better user experience.  You will also need to sign up for an account, which is free.  That can be done by going to https://www.zoom.us/signup.  It is hoped that all priests will set up an account for themselves as well one for their parish.

 

Here is an overview.

 

 

 

The Chancery has six “meeting rooms” available for its use.  These rooms have the ability of hosting 25 connections.  During these sessions, the presenter has the ability to share their screen for presentations.  While these six “meeting rooms” hosted by the Chancery are a paid service, anyone who has created an account can have “one to one” meetings for free.  It is hoped that using the Zoom Web Conferencing service we can reduce travel time, reduce expenditures and decrease the amount of time away from your parishes.

 

Client Applications can found and downloaded at https://www.zoom.us/download.  Tutorials and videos for the service can be found at https://support.zoom.us/hc/en-us and https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC2SxmE4C-KAQuHaEfHVymgQ.  While there are many different makers of webcams on the market, I have had excellent results and minimal compatibility issues with Logitech products.  They can be purchased through many different retailers. You can check out their webcams at http://www.logitech.com/en-us/webcam-communications/webcams.

 

Presently, four of the rooms are slated for use by the Bishop’s Office, the Curia and offices of the Chancery,  Two have been assigned to Catholic Schools.  Initially, scheduling will be done by the IT Office.  That can be accomplished by sending an email to Jeff Easter at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .  As use increases and people become more comfortable with the system, this process may change.

 

Once Priests and parishes create accounts, please click here to go to a form to submit your Zoom account information for use in making meeting invitations. Please contact Jeff with any questions that you may have.

Information Technology

The Office of Information Technology is responsible for the overall direction and management of all technology related activities of the Diocese.  These activities include development and maintenance of the Diocesan website, administration of the Chancery computer network, perform application support and training to all staff members, as well as provide consultation services to all parishes, schools and organizations affiliated with the Diocese.

The office’s guiding principles are to:

  • Use proven information technologies in order to encourage a broader participation in all aspects of the Church.
  • Promote the sharing of resources throughout the Diocese.
  • Provide technology resources that are informative and easy to use.
  • Increase the technical efficiency of assigned clergy, allowing them more time for their pastoral ministry.


There are now two ways to stay up to date with the IT Office.

Follow us on Facebook.
Follow us on Twitter.

Creating a Parish Website

In today's highly "technology-oriented" world, a presence on the Internet is quickly becoming a "must-have."  Pope Benedict XVI has made the topic of technology a major part of his last two World Communication Day addresses.  The Vatican has recognized the role that technology plays in our day-to-day that lives that it has established the new Pontifical Council for Promoting New Evangelization.  Pope Benedict has expressly requested that they make use of modern digital media as they do their work.

One of the most basic forms of modern digital media is an effective website.  A well thought out and designed website can be a valuable communication tool for a parish.  Couple that with a social networking presence, you have a means to quickly promote an to a large number of people.

"Open Source Catholic" is a technology blog that has some great articles on what makes an effective parish website.  Please check them out.  The first is a very informative article and the second is an excellent slide presentation with audio.

Please give me a call if have any questions regarding your parish website.

Social Media and the Church

Seventy-five years ago, The Northwest Kansas Register was started in order to deliver the news of the diocese to the people of North Central and Northwest Kansas.  From 1930-1950, Archbishop Fulton Sheen hosted a radio program called “The Catholic Hour” that was broadcast to the people of New York.   In 1951, he took his message to the nation through the medium of television, where he spoke on the theology of the current topics of the day.  Today, those messages are being spread on a new medium, social media.

There are many definitions for the term “social media”, but one consistent theme is that it is a “… blending of technology and social interaction for the co-creation of value.”  In other words, it is a way of stimulating dialogue between its participants.  It can be used to connect people with similar interests, allowing them to share information and communicate viewpoints.

This year, in the 44th World Communication Day message, Pope Benedict XVI said this new form of media “can offer priests and all pastoral workers a wealth of information and content that was difficult to access before, and facilitate forms of collaboration and greater communion that were unthinkable in the past.”  With that said, the point should be made that social media communication is not meant to be a replacement for face-to-face interaction.  Rather, it should be used to engage its participants into thoughtful and friendly discussions.

Recently, the Vatican established the new Pontifical Council for Promoting the New Evangelization.  In the Apostolic Letter establishing the council, the Holy Father specifically tasked them “to study and to encourage the use of modern forms of communication as instruments for the new evangelization.”  Bishop Coakley shares in this same vision through “Stewards of Hope”, the new pastoral plan for the diocese.  The plan calls for the establishment of the Office of new Evangelization.  Specific objectives for the new office point to the use of new technologies in performing its mission.

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