Catholic Exchange 3.0—CE Reinvented

Catholic Exchange is taking a great leap forward—both editorially and technologically—in the weeks ahead. It’s not too much to say that in January 2012 we’ll be reinventing Catholic Exchange as part of a multi-platform communications company.

These advancements are made possible by our new parent company, Sophia Institute Press. We’re grateful to be working with the Press, the fine people at Holy Spirit College in Atlanta, Georgia, and Thomas More College in Merrimack, New Hampshire.

The temptation is to rush into sharing the new content and the communication channels we engage members through, but there are deeper things to express first because transformation in every aspect of human experience—even within organizations—demands reflection. We drive back to the questions of mission and identity, as we consider, prayerfully, the way forward.

Business gurus propose that organizations ask themselves the question: What can we be the best in the world at?  For us at Catholic Exchange, it’s embracing social media networks in service to Christ—to our online community, and to others we might influence.

We are aided in thinking about this question through considering what others in Catholic media do well. Catholic Culture, Catholic Online, Catholic Answers, the National Catholic Register, and others do a tremendous job presenting Catholic teaching, providing Catholic commentary, and focusing attention on the news from a Catholic viewpoint.

What are we in the Catholic media not doing, though?

We have yet to unlock the powerful ability of social media networks to activate our virtual community in the world of temporal matters. To make an impact on our culture! The Arab Spring demonstrated the power of social media.

We are committed to “turning faith into action.” Catholics have always viewed thinking and acting (faith and good works) as inextricably linked in the life of discipleship.
Our commitment to social media is grounded in the belief that they can be used powerfully for evangelization—from catching peoples’ attention, to forming them in the faith, to sending them out into the world to do God’s work.

Catholics turn their faith into action. Social media turn ideas into movements. The pairing of the two should open up incredible possibilities.  At Catholic Exchange we are learning how to change these possibilities into realities.

We’re excited to provide more services to our online community. As we “work out our salvation with fear and trembling,” we always need perspective, encouragement, and inspiration—hallmarks of what Catholic Exchange has always provided. These offerings will be enriched as we involve our community more deeply in the creation of content.

It’s time to provide help and healing to people facing some of life’s most serious challenges, like troubled marriages, major illness, and the loss of loved ones.

It’s time to cause a deafening reaction to any infringement of religious liberty.

It’s time to attract the attention of people who believe themselves indifferent to religion with helpful resources for common problems.

It’s time to demonstrate Christ’s love to the world through increasing the number of volunteers at worthwhile charities.

Time…To turn faith into action.

We are now, by God’s grace, in a position to make a tremendous contribution.

Over the next few weeks I’ll be unfolding our plans, explaining the changes in detail, and taking account of your feedback.

Here are a few of the developments we will be discussing.

  • will be redesigned. We’re opening it up, flattening it out, and updating subcategories of GROW, WORK, SERVE, LOVE, with a topical navigation system.
  • We’re broadening our content, substantially increasing news coverage, and redesigning our blogger section.
  • We’ll provide more in-depth means of formation through online certificate programs in biblical studies, catechesis, apologetics, canon law, biblical languages, and Latin. We’re also building a resource section with study tools, video lectures, and audio presentations.
  • We will concentrate on fundamental issues on which we can have measurable impact — the value of human life, the impact of divorce, the tragic legacy in women’s lives of abortion, the problem of addiction to pornography, and the reinvention of Catholic education.
  • We will pursue a social networking strategy that connects our community members with vital Catholic ministries concerned with these fundamental issues, sending out committed Catholics who are ready to put their faith into action.

We look forward to providing details on our enhancements and how they will better enable us to live the fullness of the Catholic life together.

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