By Doris Yu
The National Jesuit Brothers Committee (NJBC) recently sponsored its 2013 institute, titled “Jesuit Spirituality and the New Media.” Held at Loyola University New Orleans, the institute featured an array of speakers and activities focusing on how Jesuits might more effectively utilize new media – including social media, email, websites and other Internet-based communications – in various ministries.
The NJBC represents U.S. Jesuit Brothers, vowed members of the Society of Jesus who share fully in the apostolic vocation, mission, work, and community life of the Society as laymen rather than as ordained priests. The institute was open to all Jesuits, and presentations covered a range of communications topics, from how the Apostleship of Prayer moved into the digital age and how Creighton University’s online ministries developed to frontiers and new media. Presenters included province communications staff members and editors from The Jesuit Post website and America magazine.
Many of the brothers expressed willingness to embrace the theme of the institute in their daily lives. “You don’t have to stop being who you are as a Jesuit. Be who you are as a Jesuit, use the media as a tool to help get out your message of who you are or the ministry you’re doing,” said Jesuit Brother Patrick Douglas.
“Something very interesting that I heard in this conference is that social media and the new media is a frontier,” said Jesuit scholastic Juan Pablo Marrufo del Toro. “And Father General asked us to go to the frontiers.”
In addition to the talks, the brothers enjoyed evening socials, a tour of Jesuit High School in New Orleans and a trip to the National WWII Museum. “I learned some things, I reconnected socially with men I know, I met some new people … it invigorates you, it reenergizes you. I came away with new knowledge and a sense of excitement and energy,” said Jesuit Brother James Siwicki.
Learn more about the National Jesuit Brothers Committee at njbc.com.