Bishop Ireton High School in Alexandria welcomed four special
guests Nov.10. The keynote speaker was producer, blogger, speaker and media
host, Father Roderick Vonhogen, who joined the event via Skype. The focus of
the assembly was Father Vonhogen’s book GeekPriest:
Confessions of a New Media Pioneer, selected
by Ireton's “One Book, One Community” program that was established two years
ago. Joining Father Vonhogen were three panelists: Soren Johnson, Natalie J.
Plumb, Sarah Yaklic, plus moderator and Ireton teacher, Ashley Brashear, all
prominent members of the Arlington Diocese and the Archdiocese of Washington.
Just as Father Vonhogen wrote about in GeekPriest, he
explained how he uses social media for religious information, evangelization,
catechesis, formation and education. He and the panelists posed a pressing question: How can we put God’s essence and beauty into
social media platforms? He stressed that the church needs to show the pure joy of
the faith while making it relevant for young people. One Book, One Community
highlights the importance of building that brand.
Father Vonhogen and the panelists also
explained how we can connect with God and with our brothers and sisters through
social media. They described God as our ultimate follower, as He receives
continuous live updates of our lives. Just as our friends and followers on
Twitter, Instagram and Facebook like, comment and favorite what we have to say,
God does the same with each and every choice we make. With every good choice,
God is there to give us a thumbs up or “like,” and with every wrong move He is
not there to give us a thumbs down, but instead to present helpful feedback or
“comments” and push us in the direction of making better choices.
Molly Nealon, a senior at Bishop
Ireton and the school president stated, “One Book, One Community and the
speakers made me aware that God’s presence is in everything that we do,
including social media. There is more than one way we can reach out to people
and spread God’s will in a world that is becoming more and more linked together