More than 70 attendees and guests packed the opening workshops of the national meeting. Instead of splitting the session into two, Internet presentations were followed by a Fundraising focus.
Patty Macias, new media manager / education director at the national office, began with an overview of the national office's Internet presence:
* Twitter – www.twitter.com/1missionfamily - keeps people posted on what an individual or - in our case - an organization is doing. It's instant communication. Free site!
* Networking site for our "one family in mission" - www.onefamilyinmission.ning.com. Share thoughts, ideas, blogs, and photos. Start discussions. Examples already there: World Mission Rosary, World Mission Sunday materials, word search activity. Free site! Our version of Facebook a / k / a "Faithbook"!
* YouTube site -- includes videos from diocesan sources and "on the scene" reports from the Missions - www.youtube.com/pmsusa - Free site!
* Pontifical Mission Societies National Meeting Website – Provided details prior to meeting and now "live @ meeting" for virtual participation and reflection / followup for all on site attendees - www.pmsnatmtg.org - to include workshops, liturgies, commentary, blogs, and photos. Blogs from people attending meeting and from people unable to attend meeting.
Monsignor Ed McCullough (Greensburg), Father Fred Saviano (Bridgeport) and Deacon Rod Mortel (Baltimore)
Sister Marie de la Trinite Siopongco (Washington, D.C.) and Sister Loretto Emenogu (Indianapolis)
What is a blog? An online journal. Colleen Coughlin / St. Louis
St. Louis - Colleen Coughlin spoke of their "blogging" activity -- regular bloggers, guest bloggers and young people blogging. One high school even incorporated the blog into class activity; they had to read it and reflect on it as an assignment. The St. Louis blog site has even been featured on the home page of the St. Louis Archdiocesan web site. Photos are great. Photos are great. Make connections with the local Catholic high school and college campus ministers. Many of them go on service trips and are willing to blog about their experiences. When students view their blogs or their friends’ blogs online, it allows them to further explore the entire mission website and hopefully become interested in other areas of mission!
Cincinnati - Teresa Phillips spoke of their efforts for an online giving web site - www.missiongivingswo.org. Average age of donors giving online - between 30 and 50 years old (versus direct mail givers, who are significantly older).
New Orleans / Boston - Sister Judy Gomila, MSC and Maureen Heil, respectively, spoke of "starting a new web site." They developed these with the "branding" established by the national office (specific typeface [Boulevard], cross logo with certain colors, etc.). The New Orleans site has been launched -- www.archnomo.org. The Boston site is still being developed. Even with the branding -- marking us as part of this "one family in mission" -- there are still local programs and efforts that make it particular to a diocese.
Maureen Colin and Sister Madge Karecki (Chicago) speak with Colleen Coughlin and Sister Judy Gomila on Internet issues, after presentations on the subject during Tuesday workshops.
Miriam Heverline (Scranton), Sister Pauline Chirchirillo, PBVM (New York) and Mary Wisniewski (San Antonio)
After a brief break on Tuesday afternoon, during the workshop sessions, the filled room of participants gathered again to focus on the subject of fundraising.
St. Louis - Monsignor Francis Blood spoke first of the Daily World Missionnaires, some 2,000 men and women who pledge daily prayer and sacrifice. The sacrifice -- giving something up -- translates into a monetary offering at the end of every month. He also elaborated on a plan that has yet to take shape -- because of the economic difficulties in the United States -- but one that involves working with a financial planner and being proactive in the area of estates and planned giving.
Front row - Teresa Phillips (Cincinnati), Miriam Heverline (Scranton), Sister Marie de la Trinite Siopongco (Washington, D.C.); back row - Sharon Warunek (Scranton), Father Terrence Mulkerin and Brother Jeremy Sztabnik, OFM (Brooklyn), Father Steve Vallenga (Cleveland)
New York - Sister Pauline Chirchirillo spoke of assigning parishes -- as part of the Missionary Cooperation Plan -- to hear appeals for the Society for the Propagation of the Faith ("Membership"). She makes about 14 to 15 of these appeals -- out of 90 a year -- and then members of missionary communities who participate in the MCP agree to make an additional appeal or two for the Propagation of the Faith. This generates important income for the Missions, but also establishes an identity -- a person to associate with the work. It is helpful as well in raising awareness for World Mission Sunday.
"If I only experienced these workshop presentations, it would have been worth the trip."
Sister Judy Gomila / New Orleans
"Make contact with the lawyers in your area. They can be helpful in tailoring your materials with regard to Estate planning." Sharon Warunek / Scranton
"We assign half of our parishes as part of the Missionary Cooperation Plan to hear appeals for the Propagation of the Faith during the summer months. It helps to hear about this work during the summer; they remember at World Mission Sunday time." Father Reno Aiardi / San Bernardino