Diocesan News

Catholic Voices USA to offer media training for Catholics

Two-day workshop for those who want to publicly make the case for the Church

LINCOLN (SNR/CVUSA) – Catholic Voices USA and the Diocese of Lincoln’s Office for Communications announced today that they are coordinating an intensive two-day media training workshop for lay Catholics of the diocese. The workshop will be Feb. 28 and March 1 at the Blessed John XXIII Center in Lincoln.

Catholic Voices USA was formed in 2012 based on a successful British model.  It offers training to Catholics in all walks of life who want to publicly make the case for the Church in truth and love in the public square. Lay Catholics trained by Catholic Voices do not speak officially for the Church, but answer the call for laypeople to publicly witness to the faith as part of the New Evangelization.

“Nearly 200 lay Catholics have been trained over the past two years in our approach,” remarked Scot Landry, executive director of Catholic Voices USA.  “Doctors, nurses, lawyers, school teachers, business leaders, full-time moms, engineers and Catholics from many other professions have enthusiastically responded to the call to share, explain and defend the Catholic faith.”

“Bishop Conley became aware of the great media training offered by Catholic Voices and wanted to make it available to Catholics here in the Diocese of Lincoln,” said JD Flynn, communications director for the Diocese of Lincoln.  “We are grateful to local business leaders for sponsoring the workshop, so it will be offered at no cost to the 25 participants.”   

During the workshop, participants will discuss effective communication strategies and messages for communicating the Church’s positive and affirmative teaching on many issues being debated in the public square.  They will also be trained on interviewing skills for newspaper, radio, and television and then participate in interview simulations that will be videotaped to allow for one-on-one coaching and to measure improvements.  

“It’s remarkable to see the quick improvements that participants make after only two days of training on media skills and lead messages,” shared Landry.  “We add these elements to a participant’s natural articulateness and their love for and knowledge of the Catholic faith.  Participants can view their own progress as they watch their videotaped interview simulations over the course of the workshop.”  

Church leaders in the US have encouraged expansion of the Catholic Voices training.  Cardinal Seán O’Malley, Archbishop of Boston, recently wrote on CardinalSeansBlog.org that, “We are very anxious to see how Catholic Voices will spread its influence in the United States, because its mission is so necessary. There is so much polarization in the country, and we need a way of being able to witness to our faith in such a way that it can be heard by secular society. I believe that Catholic Voices has developed a paradigm to do that. This is a great contribution to the life of the Church.”

Catholic Voices USA will offer at least 10 media workshops in 2014 across the US, including this workshop in the Diocese of Lincoln. 

“We encourage all those with an interest of sharing the joy of living the Catholic faith and defending her teachings in the media to apply for this media workshop,” added Flynn.

There are 25 available slots for Catholics in the Diocese of Lincoln for the Feb. 28-March 1 training.  Applications must be received by Feb. 3.  More information, the application and instructions can be found at CVUSA.org.

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