UPDATED DEC. 20, 2014: Another way to join in the call with Archbishop Aquila Dec. 21 is by calling 877-229-8493, and enter PIN 113843, any time during the call. Recording of entire call will be available at vekeo.com
As Catholics across northern Colorado register for the first ever TeleForum with Archbishop Samuel J. Aquila of Denver, many have sent in questions wondering what to expect from the live, interactive phone call. To answer these questions, the Denver Catholic Register spoke with Karna Swanson, executive director of communications for the Archdiocese of Denver. Read below for answers on why the archdiocese is launching the TeleForum, and why it is a perfect way for families to prepare for Christmas.
Q: What is a TeleForum?
A: Think of a town hall, but instead of having to get into your car and drive across town, you can participate wherever you happen to be on Sunday (Dec. 21) at 7 p.m. All you need to do is answer your phone, and you and your family will be participating in the event in real-time with the archbishop and thousands of other Catholics around northern Colorado.
During the TeleForum each participant will have the opportunity to ask a question, just as you would in a town hall meeting. In the TeleForum, however, everyone will also be able to leave a recorded message that will be transcribed and sent to the archbishop. There will also be opportunities to participate in short polls and surveys.
Q: Why is the archdiocese launching the TeleForum?
A: The archbishop is launching the TeleForum because he wants to hear directly from the Catholics of northern Colorado! This, and future phone events, will open up a new line of communication between the archbishop and parishioners that will enable both to ask and answer questions about the Church. The TeleForum is used extensively by politicians to keeps constituents informed and engaged; the archbishop wants to reach out to Catholics in the same way.
Q: Who should participate, and what kind of questions can I ask?
A: Any Catholic that wants an opportunity to talk directly with the archbishop, ask questions about the Church, and wants to ensure that his or her voice is heard should participate.
With regard to the questions, we would like everyone to feel free to ask anything that is on your mind and heart. But in particular, it would be amazing to receive honest and open questions about key obstacles one encounters in living a Christian life, for example: Is confession hard for you? Why? What can we do to help?
Another fantastic element of the TeleForum is the ability to take part in short polls and surveys during the event. This is a way to give instant feedback on how the event is going, on which topics are most interesting and what themes should be considered for a future event.
Q: Will there be a format for the event? How long will it last?
A: The event should last between 45 minutes and an hour. It will begin with an introduction by the moderator, who will explain the event and how to ask a question. The archbishop will then share a short Christmas message, and then he will take questions from the audience. Throughout the event, the moderator will take short polls and surveys.
Once the event ends, participants can stay on the line to leave a voicemail, which can be questions that weren’t answered, requests for more information or comments on the event. Also, the entire event will be posted online.
Q: Why at Christmas? Aren’t we busy enough?
A: It’s true, we are all very busy this time of year, which is exactly why the archbishop chose the Sunday before Christmas to launch the TeleForum. There are so many distractions pulling for our attention as we draw closer to the celebration of Christ’s birth, and it’s right at that moment that we all need a gentle reminder about what exactly we are going to celebrate a few days later. That’s also why we titled the event “Enter the Mystery.” This will be an opportunity for all of us to get on the phone together with our archbishop, take a break from the hectic pace of the holiday season, and remember that Christmas is about celebrating the most unfathomable of mysteries.
Q: How do I participate?
A: To participate in the TeleForum, all you need to do is register your phone number for free at www.archden.org. Be ready a few minutes before 7 p.m. on Dec. 21, and the archbishop will give you a call. Put the phone on speaker, and participate as a family!