As the month of July begins we finish celebrating religious freedom week and move to celebrating the anniversary of our Country’s freedom. Fourth of July is a time for fun, family and food. The Pope’s prayer intention for this month is for priest and their pastoral ministries. Remembering to pray for your parish priests as a part of your family prayers at meal times is a great way to answer our Holy Father’s call for prayer. Every month there is a liturgical dedication and for this seventh month of the year the dedication is to The Precious Blood of Jesus. This month is also filled with secular observances around the family.
Courtesy: Chalice of American Martyrs Catholic Community
You should focus your social media content around the clergy, daily devotional messages, parish and community life, behind the scenes, but let’s start with the easiest piece of content to share, the feast days for the Saints celebrated in July:
St. Junipero Serra (July 1), St. Thomas the Apostle (July 3), St. Anthony Mary and St. Elizabeth of Portugal (July 5), St. Maria Goretti, (July 6), St. Augustine Zhao Rong (July 9), St. Benedict (July 11), St. Henry (July 13), St. Kateri Tekakwitha (July 14), St. Bonaventure (July 15) Our Lady of Mt. Carmel (July 16), St. Camillus (July 18), St. Apollinaris (Junly 20), St. Lawrence of Brindisi (July 21), St. Mary Magdalene (July 22), St. Bridget (July 23), St. Sharbel (July 24), St. James (July 25), Sts. Joachim and Anne (July 26), St. Peter Chrysologus (July 30), St. Ignatius of Loyola (July 31).
While all the saints we celebrate are important models to share with our parish social media communities to inspire us to live Christian lives and evangelize the good news, some are more beloved than others. St. Thomas the Apostle serves as a great model for those who questioned the faith. Praying to him for those who don’t believe is a powerful way to celebrate his feast. St. Maria Goretti patron of virginity, for refusing to submit to a man’s carnal desires and was murdered for it, a great model for young people. If your parish is one with a significant number of Chinese Catholics sharing the feast day of St. Augustine Zhao Rong will really resonate with your followers. This saint was martyred for evangelizing the faith in a country that persecuted Christians, he died with 119 others in the early 1800’s.
At my parish we have a great love for St. Kateri Tekakwitha and St. Lawrence Brindisi. The most popular Saint celebrated this month is St. Ignatius of Loyola founder of the Society of Jesus. As many schools will be starting the fall term in August prayers to the patron of educators and education during teacher in-services would be a great way to bless the year ahead. Here’s a great prayer from one of the priests of the Society of Jesus, also known as the Jesuits:
“Lord Jesus, teach me to be generous; teach me to be generous with my time, especially when it’s running low; teach me to be generous with my patience, especially when its running thin; teach me to be generous with my praise, especially when I’m feeling judgmental.
Lord Jesus, teach me to serve you as you deserve, teach me to serve you as my students deserve; teach me to serve you as my co-workers deserve; teach me to serve you as my community deserves. To give and not to count the cost, even though it’s the last period of the week; even though it’s the fifth meeting today; even though it’s my 15th call from a parent. To fight and not to heed the wounds, the wounds to my health; the wounds to my social life; the wounds to my pride. To toil and not to seek for rest, even when I haven’t seen my family all week; even when that last student is waiting at the dance; even when I feel like I can’t go on. To labor and not to ask for any reward, not even another free period; not even the teacher of the year award; not even a bigger paycheck. But that of knowing that I do your will.” Amen
- Fr. Marc Fryer, SJ
@portraitsofsaints on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter shares great posts for you to share on your social media pages easily. Don’t forget if your parish namesake celebrates their feast or memorial create a custom post using the statues in your church.
In accordance with the Holy Father’s prayer intention for us to pray for priest and their ministries sharing a daily or weekly post as a reminder to pray for your parish pastor and associate priest is a great piece of content to share. The Holy Father also shares a You Tube video every month that can be shared the first week of the month. This falls under sharing content about the clergy. In the Los Angeles Archdiocese we have a vibrant vocations office that creates gorgeous posts about the vocation of the priesthood on their Facebook and Instagram that can easily be shared.
As aforementioned July is a month that we celebrate freedom and for most of us the celebrations we most look forward to are the fireworks displays in our area. …
”And the rockets’ red glare, the bombs bursting in air, gave proof through the night that our flag was still there. Oh say does that Star Spangled Banner yet wave, O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave”.
One of the most powerful images we can share when it comes to sharing parish life and community are ways that our parish will participate in community celebrations. Capturing pictures of the flag with your church in the foreground are powerful. The other elements to share are unique to your geographic location, meaning what other community celebrations happen in your community that the parish supports or has involvement with in the month of July - share those too!
American Martyrs Catholic Community and School
Next up are behind the scenes for your parish. This could mean a lot of things for your parish and range from your pastor leaving for his annual vacation to the buildings undergoing some sort of repair or renovation. It could even mean that if your parish namesake celebrates their feast or memorial this month their will be a big celebration and capturing preps of the event are great shares that will garner engagement from your followers. Some parish administrators will also use this month to start planning their Advent or back to school events. Whatever your parish does share it with your followers.
Lastly, one of the most powerful things that you can share on your social media are daily devotional messages. Your members need to see the message of Jesus as they scroll the feeds of their social media. When you can create messages from your pastors, priests or deacons in video, audio like soundcloud or a beautifully designed image to be shared, we practice new evangelization. The simplest way to share the message of God for my parish followers is to simply lift a few messages from the Gospel and share them on Sunday.
American Martyrs Catholic Community Facebook Page
Now that we have covered the spiritual aspects of things to share for July, let’s touch upon some secular one’s as outlined in nationaldaycalendar.com that translate into great content to share for July:
Since I just finished a few days in the Diocese of Honolulu speaking at their faith formation conferences and I know many of your parishioners may be heading to the Aloha state sharing a post to celebrate family vacations, weddings or just the shear beauty outlined in Laudato Si is worth celebrating National Hawaii Day (July 5). In accord with practicing the corporal work of mercy, visit the sick by observing National Cheer Up the Lonely Day (July 11) and National Giveaway Day (July 15) is a great way to remind people to use their time and give away some treasures to Saint Vincent de Paul, Catholic Charities, Homeboy Industries or even the Good Will. Celebrate families National Parent’s Day (July 22), National Cousins Day (July 24), National Aunt and Uncles Day (July 26), National Father-in-Law Day (July 30) and finally if you have a furry family member that you affectionately refer to as a mutt, encourage your followers to share pictures of them on National Mutt Day (July 31).
That’s it for this month and I hope you are enjoying these longer days of sunlight and warmer temperatures to grow your personal relationship with Christ through spending time in nature or daily mass attendance. Don’t forget to tune in for my Church Social Tips Live every Friday at Noon PST on my Facebook page. I am also a monthly contributor for Catholicmom.com and you can read about my faith journey using technology and social media as tools for new evangelization.
Happy Fourth of July!