Pope Benedict XVI Encourages Catholics to Embrace the Digital Age

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New tool developed to help parishes engage Catholics online.

The new technologies are not only changing the way we communicate, but communication itself, so much so that it could be said that we are living through a period of vast cultural transformation. -Pope Benedict XVI

In his annual message for World Communications Day, Pope Benedict XVI recognized that digital communication has become part of human life: “The new technologies are not only changing the way we communicate, but communication itself, so much so that it could be said that we are living through a period of vast cultural transformation.”

He also points out the need for continued focus on human interaction—people to people—which has long been the strength of local Catholic parishes. Merging their local mission with the new communications of today’s culture is only one of the challenges facing parishes today. Decreased staffing, lower donations from members, and merging churches are all areas where parishes struggle. The days of passing the collection plate, making announcements at the pulpit, and handing out only a printed copy of the weekly bulletin are coming to a close. More modern and sophisticated methods of reaching their members are necessary to enhance the traditional ways.

But churches need help entering this new world. “Managing and tracking donations is an important yet time-consuming process for understaffed parishes,” says Joe Luedtke, Vice President of Interactive Media at Liturgical Publications Inc (LPi). “LPi has been helping churches with their communication needs since 1972. That’s why we’ve partnered with WeGather to create a solution,” says Luedtke.

WeGather is a Chicago-area company founded by a Catholic with a passion for helping his own church solve its problems using new technology. “WeGather was built out of the needs at our church to unify and standardize our communication. WeShare is the natural extension of what we already offer,” says Joe Jablonski, president of WeGather.

Together these two companies have developed an online donation management tool known as WeShare. WeShare allows parishioners to set up recurring weekly or monthly payments, allocate varying amounts for different church funds, view their giving histories, and choose to use their checking account, debit card, or credit card. Church offices can accept pledge payments and manage capital campaigns all online—with much less time spent on bookkeeping then the manual systems they may now be using.

“We want to help Catholic parishes meet their membership online,” says Luedtke, “because we recognize that cultural shift is occurring in the rest of the world. We are ready to use our experience with churches, communication, and technology to help Catholic parishes catch up—successfully and safely.”
For more information, please visit http://www.4LPi.com/WeShare.

Since its founding in 1972, Liturgical Publications Inc has offered churches across the United States custom communication solutions backed by industry-leading service. Our years of experience, stability, and quality help us work successfully for over 3,500 congregations and organizations as well as over 100,000 businesses around the country. Headquartered in Milwaukee, WI, LPi has regional offices around the country to provide local support for your community. More information is available at http://www.4LPi.com.

WeGather’s mission is to make Church and God more relevant in people’s lives, especially for the younger church audience growing up online. We want to provide a complete, private social networking platform that can facilitate the growth and engagement of your congregation. Founded in 2009, WeGather is based in Chicago, IL. More information is available at http://www.wegather.com.

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Anne Bezanson
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