Monthly Archives: December 2012

The Christmas story — told by cute kids

A couple of years ago, children from St Paul’s Church in Auckland starred in a fantastic video telling the Christmas story. In the footsteps of other great films in recent years, they’ve decided to produce a prequel, showing God in heaven discussing his plan to send Jesus to help re-calibrate the human race, which was becoming increasingly wayward. It would appear that the kids who feature in the video are aged eight or under and while the video is full … Continue reading

St Matthew’s has done it again

‘Twas the week before Christmas, and all through the city, everyone was waiting for the billboard, from St Matthew-in-the-City….. The Anglican parish in central Auckland has become something of a staple at Christmas and Easter for its edgy billboards. Well, some would call them edgy. In previous years it’s been Mary and Joseph in bed, with both looking sheepish and the caption “Poor Joseph. God was a hard act to follow”. There was Mary looking forlorn as she looked at … Continue reading

Humour mixed with truth

Catholics are sometimes accused of not being able to laugh at ourselves. I think it’s an unfair accusation. In conjunction with the Pope’s launch of his new Twitter account, renowned satirical news website The Onion decided to have a bit of fun with it, saying it was part of a wider effort to engage with young people. Another major plank of the initiative was to stop going to Church and considering himself more “spiritual” than “religious”. The Onion often mixes … Continue reading


There have been a couple of big stories in the Church over the past couple of days — one here in Australia and the other on a global scale. The Australian story is the establishment of the Truth, Justice and Healing Council, which the Church has set up to engage with the Royal Commission that is investigating the way institutions, including the Church, have responded to instances of child sexual abuse. The bigger international story was Pope Benedict’s first tweet, … Continue reading

A fresh take on the New Evangelisation

When we talk about the New Evangelisation, hosting an atheist service at your church probably isn’t the first thing that springs to mind. Well, maybe you don’t live in Tulsa, Oklahoma then, and you mustn’t read Tulsa World. Why would atheists go to church? Wouldn’t that be like someone going to a movie theater, staring at a blank screen for an hour, and then going home? Not at all, says the Rev. Marlin Lavanhar, who this fall started a special … Continue reading

Hangin’ with Catholic new media legends

As a relative newcomer to the whole world of Catholic new media, I am been pretty lucky to be able to rub (virtual) shoulders with some of the most prominent names in that world. I was fortunate to meet Father Roderick Vonhogen back in 2009, which solidified a friendship that had existed via the Internet from one side of the world to the other. Today, I was able to have a conversation with a couple of people who have been … Continue reading

Setting the record straight — again

You’d think I’d would have just become accustomed to the mainstream media intentionally misrepresenting things the Pope writes in the hope they can come up with a sensational story — or at least a sensational headline so people read or listen to the story. But I’m an optimist, and I’m always hoping that they’ll wise up and actually seek to report fairly on the Church. That, though, would probably require journalists to learn something about the Catholic Church, which they … Continue reading

Timing is everything

Just last weekend, Pope Benedict issued a motu proprio, a document that he decided he wanted to put out, that more or less seeks to make sure that organisations that say they’re Catholic are actually Catholic. There has been a great deal of controversy about the relationship between the international aid agency Caritas and the Vatican after the former secretary general was being considered by Caritas to serve a second term, despite there being a one-term limit. Amidst that furore … Continue reading

We are very fortunate

Regular followers of the Soapbox will have previously been subjected to my shameful self-promotion of other projects I’m involved with. Well, I typically like to promote others, but sometimes projects that I play a small role in are quite cool, if I do say so myself, so I like to share them with the outside world. A couple of months back, a group of Kiwi and Aussie Catholic new media practitioners hosted our first Google+ Hangout and under the grand … Continue reading

Twitter has its pitfalls

Well, it was announced a few weeks ago that it would be happening, but it’s now official: Pope Benedict is on the Twitter and his handle in @pontifex, the Latin version of Pontiff, one of the many titles he bears as head of the Roman Catholic Church. I think you’ll find it’s actually Supreme Pontiff, but he doesn’t want to be too stuffy. The first tweets are expected to come on December 12 as the Pope — or an aide … Continue reading