Under ordinary circumstances, you'd be hard-pressed to gather these three groups (in fact you'd be lucky to overlap any two.) But all three will combine in Rome this weekend during two major events: the beatification of Pope John Paul II and a special Vatican conference on blogging.
On Sunday, May 1, Pope Benedict XVI will beatify his predecessor in front of hundreds of thousands of people. Millions more will watch through television or online as Pope John Paul II officially becomes "Blessed"--the halfway mark toward sainthood.
From the moment the Polish pontiff died, Catholics around the world have clamored for a quick path toward sainthood. But it wasn't until the first officially-approved miracle was attributed to John Paul's intercession that the celebration could finally commence. After John Paul helped a French nun recover from a paralyzing disease, the Sunday beatification was excitedly scheduled.
a meeting with150 bloggers hosted by the Pontifical Councils of Culture and Social Communications. The event, which will take place on Monday, May 2, is a sign not only of the Vatican's interest in using new media, but also of their desire to better understand the so-called 'digital continent.'
The Internet, like any mission territory, has its own unique character. It carries with it problems, situations, and issues not found in offline environments. And it even comes with its own vernacular. The Vatican's upcoming meeting signals the Church's desire to learn how to navigate these online waters and how to become fluent in the digital language.
Incredibly, I was one of the 150 bloggers invited to participate in the meeting. While my own blog has given me a little insight into the blogosphere, I've learned a lot more through writing my upcoming book, The Church and New Media: Blogging Converts, Online Activists, and Bishops who Tweet, which will be released by Our Sunday Visitor in August.
Over the coming days, I'll be in Rome blogging through these two events here at the OSV Daily Take blog. So throughout this significant weekend, be sure to check back often for updates!