Why the world needs Catholic media

Did you know that the world is catechizing you every day? It is.

In our 24-7 digital news age we are constantly bombarded with an increasingly secular and anti-Christian worldview. Ironically, now that it’s most needed, it’s easy for the Catholic voice—the voice bringing Christ’s light, truth and hope to a world in darkness—to get drowned out.

 

Catholic media vital

In his Jan. 24 message for World Communication’s Day, Pope Francis noted that in today’s fast-paced society: “The world of communications can help us either to expand our knowledge or to lose our bearings.”

The pontiff explained that “communication is a means of expressing the missionary vocation of the entire Church”—which is to evangelize: to share the good news of Jesus Christ.

He added: “The Church needs to be concerned for, and present in, the world of communication, in order to dialogue with people today and to help them encounter Christ.  She needs to be a Church at the side of others, capable of accompanying everyone along the way.”

In other words, the world needs Catholic media.

“The revolution taking place in communications media and in information technologies represents a great and thrilling challenge,” Pope Francis continued, “may we respond to that challenge with fresh energy and imagination as we seek to share with others the beauty of God.”

 

Register successes

In just a few days, on the feast of St. Patrick, March 17, the Denver Catholic Register will mark its 114th year serving the Gospel. That’s why our flag is green today instead of Register red, we’re showing our Irish roots on our birthday!  At this time, we thought we’d share with you some of the fresh and imaginative ways the Register fulfilled its mission to “inform, inspire and engage” you with the Gospel and Christ’s Church over the last year:

* Hosted the Catholic Press Association’s 2013 conference, which gathered more than 200 Catholic journalists, and featured keynotes by Father Robert Barron and Mother Dolores Hart.

* Won three Catholic Press Association Awards for our 64-page issue on the installation of Archbishop Samuel J. Aquila; our local coverage of the Aurora theater shooting “Archbishop to faithful: Evil will not have the last word”; and for “Miss Olympic medalist: Missy Franklin.”

* Launched our new dynamic, inter-active website: www.DenverCatholicRegister.org, which allows us to offer you more news, faster!

* Promoted and covered the 20th anniversary celebration of Denver’s 1993 World Youth Day and visit of Pope John II with an in-depth six-week series on the event the pontiff called “a revolution.”

* Chronicled the unexpected papal transition from Benedict XVI’s retirement to Pope Francis’ installation with comprehensive special sections.

* Increased our social media presence on Facebook and Twitter. A recent Facebook campaign promoting marriage reached more than 26,000 people!

* Garnered national attention with our timely reporting on the 100-year floods in northern Colorado, and the legal battle of the Little Sisters of the Poor against the HHS mandate.

* Continued to offer commentary and opinion columns by national and local experts, such as George Weigel and Chris Stefanick, to help you and your family know and live your faith!

 

Join the Mission

Currently, we’re in the midst our annual Join the Mission drive, in which we invite readers who value the Register to voluntarily contribute the subscription cost, which most readers get for free by virtue of parish membership. We invite you to prayerfully consider “joining the mission” by donating the $35 a year cost. (Read how to join at www.DenverCatholicRegister.org.)

Last year, thanks to your support, Join the Mission raised $25,000, which helped to make our recent successes possible.

This year, for the first time, Register staffers are making parish visits as part of Join the Mission. We’d like to thank St. Thomas More Church in Centennial for their hospitality and generosity to us on March 9, our first parish visit.  We are looking forward to visiting St. Joan of Arc Church in Arvada on March 16.

Whether you aid us with your prayers or with your monetary donations, your support  helps us to continue to provide in-depth and timely coverage of local Catholic issues and events, and to expand our presence online and in social media. It keeps our vital Catholic voice strong and our proud legacy alive.

We look forward to continuing together with you our joint mission to “inform, inspire and engage” the faithful of northern Colorado in this 114th year of the Denver Catholic Register!

Roxanne King is editor of the Denver Catholic Register. Reach her at: 303-715-3215 or editor@archden.org or www.twitter.com/DCRegisterRox.

 

Why the world needs Catholic media

Did you know that the world is catechizing you every day? It is.

In our 24-7 digital news age we are constantly bombarded with an increasingly secular and anti-Christian worldview. Ironically, now that it’s most needed, it’s easy for the Catholic voice—the voice bringing Christ’s light, truth and hope to a world in darkness—to get drowned out.

 

Catholic media vital

In his Jan. 24 message for World Communication’s Day, Pope Francis noted that in today’s fast-paced society: “The world of communications can help us either to expand our knowledge or to lose our bearings.”

The pontiff explained that “communication is a means of expressing the missionary vocation of the entire Church”—which is to evangelize: to share the good news of Jesus Christ.

He added: “The Church needs to be concerned for, and present in, the world of communication, in order to dialogue with people today and to help them encounter Christ.  She needs to be a Church at the side of others, capable of accompanying everyone along the way.”

In other words, the world needs Catholic media.

“The revolution taking place in communications media and in information technologies represents a great and thrilling challenge,” Pope Francis continued, “may we respond to that challenge with fresh energy and imagination as we seek to share with others the beauty of God.”

 

Register successesRoxanne King

In just a few days, on the feast of St. Patrick, March 17, the Denver Catholic Register will mark its 114th year serving the Gospel. That’s why our flag is green today instead of Register red, we’re showing our Irish roots on our birthday!  At this time, we thought we’d share with you some of the fresh and imaginative ways the Register fulfilled its mission to “inform, inspire and engage” you with the Gospel and Christ’s Church over the last year:

* Hosted the Catholic Press Association’s 2013 conference, which gathered more than 200 Catholic journalists, and featured keynotes by Father Robert Barron and Mother Dolores Hart.

* Won three Catholic Press Association Awards for our 64-page issue on the installation of Archbishop Samuel J. Aquila; our local coverage of the Aurora theater shooting “Archbishop to faithful: Evil will not have the last word”; and for “Miss Olympic medalist: Missy Franklin.”

* Launched our new dynamic, inter-active website: www.DenverCatholicRegister.org, which allows us to offer you more news, faster!

* Promoted and covered the 20th anniversary celebration of Denver’s 1993 World Youth Day and visit of Pope John II with an in-depth six-week series on the event the pontiff called “a revolution.”

* Chronicled the unexpected papal transition from Benedict XVI’s retirement to Pope Francis’ installation with comprehensive special sections.

* Increased our social media presence on Facebook and Twitter. A recent Facebook campaign promoting marriage reached more than 26,000 people!

* Garnered national attention with our timely reporting on the 100-year floods in northern Colorado, and the legal battle of the Little Sisters of the Poor against the HHS mandate.

* Continued to offer commentary and opinion columns by national and local experts, such as George Weigel and Chris Stefanick, to help you and your family know and live your faith!

 

Join the Mission

Currently, we’re in the midst our annual Join the Mission drive, in which we invite readers who value the Register to voluntarily contribute the subscription cost, which most readers get for free by virtue of parish membership. We invite you to prayerfully consider “joining the mission” by donating the $35 a year cost. (Read how to join at www.DenverCatholicRegister.org.)

Last year, thanks to your support, Join the Mission raised $25,000, which helped to make our recent successes possible.

This year, for the first time, Register staffers are making parish visits as part of Join the Mission. We’d like to thank St. Thomas More Church in Centennial for their hospitality and generosity to us on March 9, our first parish visit.  We are looking forward to visiting St. Joan of Arc Church in Arvada on March 16.

Whether you aid us with your prayers or with your monetary donations, your support  helps us to continue to provide in-depth and timely coverage of local Catholic issues and events, and to expand our presence online and in social media. It keeps our vital Catholic voice strong and our proud legacy alive.

We look forward to continuing together with you our joint mission to “inform, inspire and engage” the faithful of northern Colorado in this 114th year of the Denver Catholic Register!

Roxanne King is editor of the Denver Catholic Register. Reach her at: 303-715-3215 or editor@archden.org or www.twitter.com/DCRegisterRox.

 

COMING UP: Did Christians ban the Games? Tales, myths and other fun facts about the ancient Olympics

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The 2020 Summer Olympics began less than a week ago, and as is usually the case, there’s been enough stunning athleticism, shocking upsets and yes, even a little bit of drama on display to keep the water cooler chatter abuzz until at least the 2022 games.

At their best, the Olympic games bridge cultural divides and unite countries around the world as the greatest living athletes around the globe compete for the coveted gold medal in their respective events. There’s a spirit of global camaraderie that welcomely comes about during every Olympiad; whether watching the Games at home with the family or going to a local bar to cheer on your favorite country, the Olympics bring people together in a way that most other sporting events do not.

Another astounding thing about the Olympics is how they’ve endured over the millennia. Indeed, they provide a special glimpse into the history of the world and those common qualities of humanity that will never die; namely, the need for both unitive, universal community and friendly but fierce competition.

The first recorded Olympic games took place in 776 B.C., though some historians speculate that they could have began as early as the 10th century B.C. The games were held every four years in Olympia to honor the greek god Zeus as one of four Panhellenic festivals, this one coinciding with the second full moon following the summer solstice, usually at the end of July or early August. The Olympics became so significant that the term Olympiad was used to mark a year the games took place, and became a common unit of historical time measurement.

Now, the ancient world wasn’t exactly known for its amicability or even peacefulness, as indicated by the countless wars and power usurpations that took place throughout its history. However, Olympic festivals were marked by a truce among the Greeks called ekecheiria, which roughly means “holding of hands.” This ensured safe travels for athletes and spectators as they made their way to the festival and was a common basis for peace among the Greeks. That the Olympic games could get even the constantly feuding Greeks to lay down their arms and come together in a spirit of solidarity speaks to their significance in ancient history.

Early Olympic events included the footrace, wrestling, the long jump, the javelin throw, the discus throw and boxing. Of course, it’s nigh impossible to read about the ancient Olympics and not come across epic tales of chariot racing, an event which was briefly banned early on but was reinstated by the first century B.C. and drew the interest of several key Roman figures (more on that later).

By the fifth century B.C., athletes from all over the Greek-speaking world came to Olympia for the games. The footrace, also called the Stade or Stadion, was considered the most prestigious event, and is where the english word “stadium” is derived from. Stade was a unit of measurement in ancient Greece which modern historians say is the rough equivalent to 600 feet or 200 yards, though the actual length has been a subject of debate for many years. Either way, it represents the length which runners in the Stadion ran to prove themselves as the fastest sprinters in the ancient world.

Interestingly, very little record about the Olympics games during the time of Christ exists. History tells us that the Roman emperor Tiberius, who was emperor during Christ’s life, won the chariot races during the 194th Olympiad in 4 B.C. In 17 A.D., the popular Roman general Germanicus, who was Tiberius’ adopted son and the future father of the third Roman Emperor Caligula, won the chariot races in 17 A.D., presumably around the time Christ was a teenager.

About those chariot races: they were known to attract elite political figures, some of whom won based on true skill, and others who only wanted the appearance of winning to further exert their power and status. During the 211th Olympiad, Emperor Nero, known for his fierce persecution of Christians and rather narcissistic personality, forcibly moved the Olympic games set to take place in 65 A.D. to 67 A.D. so he could compete while on a tour of Greece. He participated in the chariot races (with six more horses than the other competitors), and declared himself the greatest Olympic victor of all time, though historical eyewitness accounts tell a different story. Nero actually nearly died after a severe wreck, but Nero being Nero, he was still declared the winner.

Thankfully, Nero’s title as an Olympic victor and the Olympiad he “won,” which did not adhere to the established chronology of the games, were subsequently stricken from the official Olympic records after his death.

The Olympics grew over the course of 1,200 years until 393 A.D., when Emperor Theodosius I banned all Pagan festivals from the Roman emperor after Christianity became adopted as the state religion. Popular culture and history has long maintained this story of Christianity being to blame for the halt of the Olympic games. However, in recent years, some historians have disputed this account, saying that it was not for religious reasons but rather economic reasons that the games ended when they did. In fact, even after Theodosius’ death, there are still records of Olympic games taking place up until the fifth century. As the administration of Roman Empire evolved, the Olympics could no longer be sponsored by civil funds and instead became sponsored more and more by rich elites of the time. Simply put, the games became too expensive, and no one wanted to pay for them anymore.

The Olympics did not make a return for 1,500 years, until the Athens Olympics in 1896. Over the last 125 years since their reinstatement, the Games have become an integral piece of modern culture and a remnant of ancient history that was revived to great avail. As the Olympics in Tokyo continue over the next week and athletes compete for the gold, the words of St. Paul in his first letter to the Corinthians serve as a pertinent reminder of how the spirit of an Olympian imitates closely that of a Christian:

“Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one receives the prize? So run that you may obtain it. Every athlete exercises self-control in all things. They do it to receive a perishable wreath, but we an imperishable. So I do not run aimlessly; I do not box as one beating the air. But I discipline my body and keep it under control, lest after preaching to others I myself should be disqualified” (1 Cor 9:24-27).

So let the Games continue! And may the race be run not for a perishable prize, but an imperishable one.


Featured photo: Met Museum, Terracotta Panathenaic prize amphora (jar), ca. 510 B.C. Attributed to the Leagros Group.