EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW Catholic-link, a website for thirsty Catholics
Catholic-link is filled with energy and hope.
Recently, Catholic Online learned about Catholic-link, an exciting website that features media about issues that matter to Catholics today. We've decided to interview Garrett Johnson, a site administrator and a candidate for the priesthood about his mission.
Built and maintained with energy and passion, Catholic-link is worth the bookmark on your browser.
COL: What is Catholic-link and what is your mission?
Link: Catholic-link is a website that provides videos and commentary for Catholic apostolate. The initiative seeks to be an appealing and innovative resource for those who are spreading the Gospel, especially to the youth. Faith isn't just one aspect of life, one activity on Sunday morning; it is the light that illuminates and enriches every dimension, every worry, every dream, every moment of every day. The selection of videos and their accompanying comments offers a vision of daily life that is deeply transformed and enriched by the Catholic Faith. Such an approach allows us to discover eloquent expressions of our values dispersed throughout the world of media, whether they are explicitly Catholic or not.
COL: Why do you feel that mission is important?
Link: I think in recent years one of the greatest apostolic challenges is how to not only teach the "faith," but also to teach a "life of faith." It has become very difficult for Catholics, and particularly the youth, to understand how their beliefs can become a part of their daily lives. They may believe in God to some degree, maybe they go to Church on Sunday, or even participate in a youth group; but, they don't understand how that has any bearing on their lives. "Who could blame them?" The culture that surrounds us is not a Christian one. A culture that is interwoven with Christianity reconciles the rupture between faith and life: the culture in which we live lamentably widens it.
Thus, what we are hoping to do is to present a new way of looking at reality. One in which the faith need not shout so as to be heard amid the uproar of secularism and indifference, but instead, one that amplifies the voices of reality, all of which speak of and give praise to the one Lord Jesus Christ.
COL: Who is Catholic Link?
Link: We are a group of young Catholics from various parts of the world that have decided to place our time and efforts at the service of the Church. The majority of us are university students, thus full of activities and still growing and maturing in many things. Still, we are convinced the Faith is a gift and an answer that we must share now, without fear or excuses. Catholic-link, then, is our šthank youš to the Lord and to His Church.
COL: How long have you been doing this?
Link: Catholic-link arose very quietly about a year ago. Mauricio Artieda, the site's founder and director, started out by simply sending videos that he found on the Internet to his friends to use in their apostolate. It became obvious over time that there was a need for this kind of thing. So, at the suggestion of a priest friend, he decided to start a blog which soon became a website. The style was always an informal and familiar one, something like one friend explaining to another friend some ways to do apostolate and giving him or her some materials to do so.
Seeing the page's growing response and recognition by users and Catholic blogs or websites, a decision was made to launch it in English. As such, I began working on the site a few months ago and it came online at the beginning of October. Although things are just beginning, I am excited to say that we have already received a very positive response.
COL: Has Catholic Link changed your life in any way?
Link: Doing apostolate through Catholic-link has taught me something about being Catholic and doing apostolate. In the first place, I am beginning to realize an impressive fact: in a world full of social networks, no one has more experience than the Catholic Church. For literally thousands of years, the Church has known how to penetrate barriers of every type in order to unite people in a common faith. She continues to do so today.
My own experience with Catholic-link confirms this fact. I remember speaking with some of the members on our team, a young woman from England and another from the Philippines, about the situation of the Church in their respective areas. Then, a few days later, I received a message from an Arab speaking Catholic, now living in Spain, who explained to me the situation of the Church in the Middle East, and asked me how we could spread the page there. These are just a few examples. I am continually amazed at how people from such diverse backgrounds have been unified in one mission: bringing the Lord Jesus to others. These experiences and more have confirmed me again and again in my own faith. They are a reminder that the faith truly is an answer for the human person, no matter his or her age, nation, culture, race, etc.
They have also taught me something fundamental when it comes to apostolate: with the little that I do, the Lord does a lot. I am no Internet expert, nor am I a trained writer by any means. I am just a young guy who wants do something for Christ and His Church. Catholic-link is a great opportunity for me to do just that.
COL: How is Catholic Link supported?
At this point, our principal support comes from prayer and determination. Still, in the future we would like to improve our service by upgrading the website and possibly producing our own material. To do so, we will need to look into some sort of fund-raising.
COL: What are your long-term goals with Catholic Link?
Besides the two ideas I just mentioned, to be honest, we aren't that sure what the future holds. The page has already turned into something much bigger than what was first envisioned. I am confident, then, that the Lord will continue to guide us where He wants. For now, the only thing on our calendar is to continue our service through Catholic-link and to strive to be a little holier than we are right now.
Thank you Garrett and God bless you for all the wonderful work you are doing.
© 2012, Distributed by NEWS CONSORTIUM.
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Pope Benedict XVI's Prayer Intentions for January 2013
General Intention: The Faith of Christians. That in this Year of Faith Christians may deepen their knowledge of the mystery of Christ and witness joyfully to the gift of faith in him.
Missionary Intention: Middle Eastern Christians. That the Christian communities of the Middle East, often discriminated against, may receive from the Holy Spirit the strength of fidelity and perseverance.
Keywords: Catholic-link, Garrett Johnson, Rome, media
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