Memorial Day is just around the corner and it’s the unofficial start to the summer season. As always your parish social media planning should start with the five things every parish should post about.
Pope, Pastor, Priests and Deacons
Daily Inspirational Messages
Parish Behind the Scenes
Parish & Community Life
In the Archdiocese of Los Angeles the month of June is filled with ordination anniversaries and we are so fortunate to have a pastor assigned to our parish, two associate priests and four deacons. A separate post will be created for each one of them to honor and celebrate their individual commitment to their vocation. Every month the Pope shares a prayer intention that you may share as a post across all social media sites. This month’s intention is “That social networks may work towards that inclusiveness which respects other for their differences”. You may design a graphic with the intention written on it or share the official intention video from the Pope Video channel on You Tube.
There are a number of ways that you can share a daily inspirational message with your followers. American Martyrs Catholic Community receives a daily minute long video taped message from our pastor on the readings of the day. Loyola Press offers a daily 3-minute retreat that can be shared as a daily inspirational message. You can create a graphic each day based on a theme. Lastly, you may choose a devotional book and share it’s daily message, just be sure to give proper attribution.
As the summer season begins the parish behind the scenes might include shutting down the school, the start up of summer camp and liturgical environmental changes. Some parishes may have special events they celebrate in the month of June to mark the beginning of the summer season, share pictures or video of these events.
The Saints that will be celebrated this month are St. Justin (June 1), Sts. Marce
llinus and Peter (June 2),St. Norbert (June 6), St. Boniface (June 5), St. Ephrem (June 9), St. Barnabas (June 11), St. Anthony of Padua (June 13), St. Romuald (June 19), St. Aloysius Gonzaga (June 21), Sts. John Fisher and Thomas More (June 22), the Birth of St. John the Baptist(June 24), St. Josemaria Escriva (June 26), St. Cyril of Alexandria (June 27), St. Irenaeus (June 28), Solemnity of Sts. Peter and Paul (June 29) and the First Martyrs of the Church (June 30). Sharing from the Portraits of the Saints account on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest onto your parish account makes it super easy to honor the great saints of our church.
During the summer months many parishes will welcome visitors vacationing or visiting family. Sharing your parish life and community via social media is a great way to give visitors an idea of what to expect if they visit your church. Candid shots of members during or after mass, your priests messages, pictures of your campus or even coffee and donuts being served in the parish hall capture the culture of your community.
So now that we have covered the basics let’s move onto the summer ideas. Last year, we started a series of wonderfully engaging posts called #missingmartyrs. The posts were designed to encourage people to attend mass while they were on vacation and take a picture and tag it with #missingmartyrs. We had posts from all over the world - so cool! We also did a summer reading series on the top 50 best Catholic books, where we shared a book selection every day. This year we are going to share a psalm every day tagged with #psalmsummer and use a picture from our campus or nearby beaches as the background and write the psalm over it.
For me, deciding what to post for the summer is a numbers game! From June 1st to August 31st there are three months, 13 full weeks and about 90 days to share uniquely summer themed content. So I look for content that will fit within one of the numbers outlined, hence the #psalmsummer idea sprung from the fact that there are 150 psalms so we will share one each day. If that seems like an overwhelming task try sharing content once a week on a specific day, a monthly theme or list of something that you can share a few days a week for the 13 weeks of summer like the best Catholic books to read, things to do or places to go to add some spirituality to summer vacation.
As always I hope these Church Social Tips help you do church social right and have a blessed Memorial Day Weekend!