As I started collecting the elements to put together my monthly blog on what to post on your Catholic social media pages, realizing that school will be starting for so many in the month of August. Heading back to school signals the lazy days of summer are over and the hurried days of fall are on the way.
Maybe it’s just that I’m getting older and time just seems to get away from me. When I was younger it seemed like the school year cycle from fall to Christmas Break to Summer Vacation took forever - now it happens in what seems like the blink of an eye.
Before we talk about back-to-school let’s focus on the basics, you know the “Five Things Every Parish Should Post.”
Posts From or About the Clergy
Every month Pope Francis shares an intention that he wants us to pray for and in the month of August the prayer intention is for The Treasure of Families - that any far-reaching decisions of economists and politicians may protect the family as one of the treasures of humanity. The Pope Video channel on You Tube shares a video on the monthly intention that can be shared across all your social media channels. This month the World Meeting of Families also happens this month in Ireland August 21 - 26th, so let us focus our prayerful posts for the intention of families especially this month.
Share posts from your pastor, associate priests and deacons. In every parish the clergy serves as the influencers of the community and posts about them or from them really sparks engagement from followers. We had a deacon in England on a pilgrimage, our pastor vacationing in his hometown in Ireland and an associate who shared pics from his morning prayer ritual. Ask your clergy what they would be comfortable for you to share. Maybe they can start a blog, picture, podcast, or video series. Also, remember to create special posts to pray for your priests on the feast of St. John Vianney who is the patron saint of parish priests.
Saints of August
St. Alphonsus Liguori (August 1), St. Eusebius of Vercelli and St. Peter Julian Eymard (August 2), St. John Mary Vianney (August 4),Dedication of St. Mary Major (August 5), Transfiguration of the Lord (August 6), St. Sixtus II and Companions and St. Cajetan (August 7), St. Dominic(August 8), St. Teresa Benedicta (August 9), St. Lawrence (August 10), St. Clare (August 11), St. Jane Frances de Chantal (August 12), St. Maximilian Kolbe (August 14), St. Stephen of Hungary (August 16), St. John Eudes (August 19), St. Bernard (August 20), St. Pius X (August 21), the Queenship of Mary (August 22), St. Rose of Lima (August 23), St. Bartholomew (August 24), St. Louis of France(August 25), St. Monica (August 27), St. Augustine (August 28) and the Martyrdom of St. John the Baptist (August 29).
Behind the Scenes
As summer inches closer to fall, parishes use this time to prepare new catechist, school teachers, pastoral council members, do building maintenance or any number of things. The Feast of the Assumption, August 15th is a Holy Day of Obligation and many parishes around the world celebrate this feast with processions or special traditions unique to the parish. Don’t forget to share a mass schedule in the bulletin, on your website and social media pages that this is a Holy Day of Obligation. The Queenship of Mary is celebrated on August 22nd and this memorial is also observed in different ways in parishes and dioceses across the country. Capture pictures or video of how it is celebrated at your parish. Here in my Los Angeles Archdiocese we will also celebrate the 40th anniversary of the ordination of our Archbishop Jose’ H. Gomez.
Daily Inspirational Message
At my parish we are very fortunate to have a daily inspirational minute message from our pastor that are posted on our You Tube Channel, Facebook and this month we started posting them on Instagram IGTV. So you can share ours, but also use them to encourage your own clergy to do their own. Of course we have a number of other clergy members who create messages to share, like Bishop Barron, Loyola Press and the USCCB. You can also select a theme and share a daily message. For the entire summer we did #PsalmSummer and shared the favorite psalms of our clergy members.
Parish and Community Life
It’s a national back to school month and our Catholic schools are a big part of our parish community. Sharing pictures of the preps for the first day of school, faculty meetings and catechism classes getting underway is a great way to engage your members. Make a list of all the events your parish will be hosting in the fall, Labor Day, maybe a fair, the annual appeal, ministry fair, All Hallows Eve, All Saints Day and Thanksgiving. As planning gets underway for these events capture pictures and video to showcase what’s going on in your parish, it’s a great way to promote events and garner volunteers. Don’t forget to also capture the change in season in your area, leaves changing colors, rainy days and snowfall.
That’s it for this month’s Church Social Tips on social media strategy for fall - enjoy what’s left of summer!