Sunday, November 24, 2013

'Catholicism' creator likes new media's impact 'way outside' churches

http://saltandlighttv.org/witness/images/rev_robert_barron.jpgChicago priest Father Robert Barron has a dream -- for another grand, sweeping documentary on Catholicism. It's the latest goal for the priest who more than a dozen years ago was asked to jump-start an evangelical endeavor to "invade that space" where the church's message was not often heard.

"If you want to reach people who are under 40, you have to use media. Things like YouTube had just come into being and we jumped into that with two feet," said Father Barron. 

"If you want to find the unchurched Catholics and the secularists, you aren't going to find them by staying in church and inviting them to programs. You have to use this new means. We have to invade that space." 

The author of 10 books and a weekly radio commentator, Father Barron brings to YouTube and the web a Catholic perspective on mainstream cultural events, from blockbuster movies like "World War Z" to same-sex marriage. 

He has posted more than 180 videos online and his viewers have topped a million. 

Father Barron in 2000 founded the nonprofit Word on Fire that supports his efforts to draw people to the Catholic faith through new media. 

According to tax records, the nonprofit in 2011 had nearly $5 million in revenue generated by his diverse teaching tools, funds that go to support the mission of Word on Fire.

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