“Go out to the world and teach all nations!”
The great commission that Jesus gave to his apostles echoes and re-echoes down the ages to the present time. Followers of Jesus have to spread the Good News. St. Paul said it simply and passionately: “Woe to me if I do not evangelize!” Our great predecessors in the evangelical ministry—Paul, Origen, Augustine, Thomas Aquinas, Francis Xavier, John Henry Newman, etc.—used the tools that were available to them: pen and ink, paper, and a lively voice.
Now we have means of communication that those great figures would not have dreamed possible. Today, the Word can go out through television, film, radio, podcasting, YouTube, Facebook, and blog sites. It took the great missionaries of the sixteenth century months, even years, to reach the ends of the earth. Now we can do so instantaneously, with the push of a button.
I was in Rome just a few weeks ago, attending a conference on evangelization. During my stay, I had the privilege of attending Pope Benedict’s regular Wednesday audience, at the close of which, the Pope, to my delight, “tweeted” for the first time! Benedict XVI has now joined the millions upon millions of people who use Twitter to communicate with the wider world.
I want our students at Mundelein, the priests who will serve you and your children one day, to be on the cutting edge of this new technology. However, one of the challenges that I face is that our technical infrastructure here at the seminary is aging and out of date. In fact, within a week of my assuming office as rector, I was informed that our computer system could crash at any time.
Would you be willing to help me get our place fully “on line?” Would you be willing to help me prepare these men for ministry in the 21st century? I’ve been told that an adequate updating of our system would cost approximately $2500 per seminarian. I would be thrilled if you would consider making a donation of that amount.
Please know that the entire seminary community prays daily for our donors and benefactors. Without you, our life here would simply not be possible. Please pray for us. Perhaps we could all invoke the intercession of St. Therese of Lisieux, who is a special heavenly friend of mine and one of the patronesses of mission in the Church.
Gratefully yours in the Lord,
Very Rev. Robert Barron