Posts Tagged ‘Twitter’

Mary Queen of Heaven

In the Catholic calendar, May is a month where we pay special homage to Mary our Mother, Our Blessed Lady. Here are some ideas on how to do that throughout the month:

  1. Attend daily Mass – if you are unable to attend Mass every day, try going an extra day or two during the week.
  2. Pray the rosary every day – Our Lady of Fatima urged the seers to pray the rosary every day, during each of her six apparitions in Portugal. Are you a bit rusty when it comes to praying the rosary? Check out EWTN’s guide , install a rosary app on your smartphone, ask a friend or family member to pray it with you, or pray the rosary with Mother Angelica and her Sisters . And if you’re unable to pray the rosary, why not start with a decade a day!
  3. Put a picture of Mary in every room, and every time your eyes fall on her, offer up a little prayer.  And if you don’t have that many pictures  of Mary (I don’t!) google ‘Mother Mary’ and print off your favourites.
  4. Talking about favourite pictures of Mary, choose your top picture and use is as the wallpaper or background to your phone/ tablet/ laptop/ work computer for the month! This makes for a great starting point for evangelisation when a friend or colleague catches a glimpse of your screen!
  5. Make a pilgrimage – you don’t have to go all the way to Lourdes, Fatima or Mexico City! Plan a week-end to Knock or Walsingham, or go visit a local shrine or grotto- and invite your friends! Take a picture and share it on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram  AND Pinterest!
  6. Mary Prayer FocusCreate a prayer focus– a statue of Mary, some candles, rosary beads, a bible… and if you don’t have a statue of Mary, May is the time to get one! Veritas sell statues of Mary from e4.50 (and deliver free in Ireland!)
  7. Blue is the Marian colour, so, wear something blue every day– that way you’ll start your day by thinking about honouring our Heavenly Mother! And, if you don’t have many blue clothes, a good back up is blue nail varnish! Another opportunity to tell people about Mary when people comment on the  interesting colour of your nails!
  8. Read about Mary! Pope John Paul II wrote Redemptoris Mater, an encyclical on the blessed Virgin Mary in the life of the pilgrim Church. Or, just look up ‘Mary’ in the index in your Catechism or YouCat, and work your way through. Also, when he was cardinal, Pope Emeritus Benedict wrote an excellent book about  Mary entitled “Mary: The Church at the Source, with Hans Urs von Balthasar.
  9. Celebrate! Share the Marian love with colleagues and bring in some celebratory cakes into work to share! @UKCatholicGirl wrote a great blog post about what happened when she decided to buy cakes to share in the law firm’s office where she worked, to celebrate the Feast of the Assumption. You could do this on the Feast of Our Lady of Fatima (13th May) or  the Visitation (31st May), or any other day… just because its the month of Mary!
  10. Watch a film about Mary– and invite some friends round and watch The 13th Day, Lourdes, or The Story of Bernadette.
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A new website, Adopt a Cardinal, has been set up ahead of the conclave. The idea is that lay people, an important part of the Body of Christ, may contribute through prayers to the Holy Spirit that He may guide, protect and enlighten the adopted Cardinal before, during and after the conclave. Already, over 5000 people have signed up to adopt and pray for a Cardinal.

There are no set prayers to say for the adopted cardinal. ‘Adopters’ pray and fast according to their capacity and inclination. Archbishop Martin, of the Archdiocese of Dublin, Ireland, recently noted that

the prayer of the entire Church for the election of a new Pope is part of a long tradition of invoking the inspiration of the Holy Spirit on those called to be electors and on the one who will be called to guide the universal Church.

Archbishop Martin, Dublin

Follow the conversation on Twitter #adoptacardinal and visit www.adoptacardinal.org to adopt your Cardinal!

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Pope Benedict XVI began tweeting in December 2012

I am relatively new to Twitter, a microblogging social network site. In plain English, that means you have 160 characters in which to say, or tweet, what’s on your mind. Pope Benedict joined Twitter in December 2012 and has since been regularly tweeting questions, thoughts, messages of encouragement and prayers to his 1 500 000 followers, and anyone else who searches for Pope Benedict or @Pontifex, as he is known on Twitter.

Since joining Twitter, I have come across two symbols, which are widely used. Firstly, the ‘@’ symbol is used to call out a username, when recognising people in re-tweets and messages referring to them.

Pope Benedict's Twitter header

Shout out to Pope Benedict by using @Pontifex in your tweet

Another commonly used symbol is the hashtag, the ‘#’ symbol. This is used before a keyword or phrase in order to categorise a tweet and help it appear in a search. Popular hashtagged words and phrases become trending topics, appearing in the sidebar as a window of what people are tweeting about at that moment. As I type this, the Dublin trends are #Grammys, #BAFTAS and #6Nations.

One thing that puzzled me was the question of which hashtags to use when I tweet. Where can I find a list of ‘Catholic hastags’? I never found one, but, for newbie Catholic Tweeters, I have compiled my list below!

Using a few hashtags where appropriate will mean that your tweet appears in a search and, if enough people use a hashtag at one time (e.g. an event such as Vigil4life), the hashtag show up in the sidebar of Twitter in that country as a popular topic of conversation.

In his message for the 47th World Communications Day, Pope Benedict said

The ability to employ the new languages is required, not just to keep up with the times, but precisely in order to enable the infinite richness of the Gospel to find forms of expression capable of reaching the minds and hearts of all. 

One simple way we can do this is by making our tweets identifiable to those who are searching.

Below is a list of the Catholic hashtags I have come across the most. This is by no means an exhaustive list. Please feel free to chip in with any that I have missed out!

General

#Advent, #Bible, #Catholic, #CathYM, #Christian, #Christmas, #Church, #Cross, #Easter, #Eucharist, #Faith, #Feastday, #Lent,

#Resurrection, #Truth, #YearofFaith

Prayer

#Adoration, #BlesstheLord, #ComeHolySpirit, #DeoGratias, #Prayer, #PrayForPope, #PrayForUs, #Rosary, #Stormheaven

Prolife

#40daysforlife, #Marchforlife2013, #Prolife, #Prolifearmy, #Vigil4Life

Evangelisation

#Evangelisation, #Evangelization, #Knowwhatyoubelieve, #Newevangelisation,

Marriage

#Marriage, #Onemanonewoman

People

#Christ, #God, #HolySpirit, #Jesus, #Mary, #Saints, #Trinity

Misc

#CathMedia, #Excited, #Thingscatholicgirlssay

The Pope's Twitter page

The Pope’s Twitter page

The Pope is to begin tweeting from @pontifex on 12th December, when he will host a question and answer session! How blessed we are to have a leader of the church who is so in tune with modern communication and social media to reach out to so many people and evangelise!