The Challenge of Technology for Ministry
In today’s contemporary landscape, priests, prelates, and religious pursue their works of the Gospel using tools not known a mere 25 years ago. While writing, speaking, preaching and exposition continue to be fundamental activities, the content of these activities is delivered more and more not on paper or film or by some physical medium, but on digital media across the internet as blogs, podcasts, digital videos, interactive discussion forums, and other (ever expanding) formats. The result is a single priest can, with the right tools, reach 10s and 100s of thousands (if not millions) of souls every month.
The means to effectively deliver this content requires a level of technical sophistication and specialization difficult for the priest, prelate or religious to acquire and maintain under the burden of limited time and demands of their lived apostolates. The technologies are complicated, require constant updates and maintenance so that they work well and there are requirements to understand in order to scale a technical platform to serve more “consumers”.
Further, acknowledging today’s climate of hostility to the authentic Gospel message, technical competency and specialization alone is not enough. One must take in mind the potential for being “deplatformed” from services labeling Christianity as “hate speech”. Security concerns on the internet are complicated, requiring further technical specialization.
Who We Are
With its origin supporting the blog “Fr. Z’s Blog (once known as “What Does The Prayer Really Say”), the Catholic Signal Corps was started by David Young and Fr John Zuhlsdorf. The Corps is comprised of a number of elite computer engineers and administrators able to provide the best technical support and designs for priests, prelates, and religious using contemporary digital tools to deliver the message of the Gospel to receptive populations around the world.
David Young has a long history in technology and founded the cloud computing company Joyent. Joyent was responsible for supporting some of the biggest and earliest success on the web including Twitter, Tumblr, the Facebook developer platform, eBay, and many others. He and other engineers at Joyent invented the development platform node.js which now powers nearly 30% of the entire world-wide web. He is a Catholic in San Diego, CA and attends and supports an FSSP parish.
Fr John Zuhlsdorf has been a weekly columnist for the Catholic newspaper The Wanderer as well as for the UK’s Catholic Herald since 2011. He is best known for his blog “Fr Z’s Blog” where he comments on Catholic tradition and current Church events, advocates for reverent celebration of both authorized forms of the Roman Rite liturgy, and for the growth of the Sacrament of Penance. He is the president of the Tridentine Mass Society of of the Diocese of Madison, in Wisconsin. Fr Zuhlsdorf was an early pioneer using digital publishing tools in his ministry since 1992.
The Catholic Signal Corps, as the name implies, works to support those priests, prelates, religious who are involved in ministries on-line where the emphasis is on traditional worship (e.g., facing liturgical east), and sound catechetics. While we are grateful for the work of lay men and women on the internet today, we focus our support especially towards the ordained as well as consecrated men and women.
Support of the Catholic Signal Corps allows us to underwrite the following for a particular ministry.
Servers, bandwidth and other hosting fees;
Nominal fees for system administration;
Fees for engineering.
We do not contribute to the supported ministry itself. However, your support of the Catholic Signal Corps allows particular supported ministries to “save” the money and effort they might have to expend on technical infrastructure and management.
If you would like to support our work, please consider becoming a patron… click:
Getting Support for Your Digital Ministry
If you are a priest or religious, maybe a parish or a growing on-line ministry, we would be happy to speak with you about the support services we can provide. Please get in touch.
Here is a sample of the sites we support today:
Fr Z’s Blog
Tridentine Mass Society of Madison
A Living Sacrifice
Treasured Eucharistic Vestments