Digital Discipleship Tips For May
My full focus was on my personal journey through Lent and so I didn’t write a blog about what to post beyond the forty days.
While Lent is over and we’ve celebrated the glorious resurrection of Christ on Easter Sunday, the Easter Season continues through this month. In fact, the season is 50 days long! Most assume we slip back into a season of “ordinary time”.
“April showers bring May flowers”
May blooms with many spiritual themes that can be folded into your digital discipleship planning. The most obvious is of course” Mothers”. Our church dedicates this month to the Blessed Virgin, the heavenly mother and the world dedicates it to our earthly mother. Growing up in Maria Regina parish we had a tradition of crowning a statue inside our church and one in the school yard with a floral crown.
Creating the crowns to be placed on the heads of the statues would make for great Instagram stories. This article from Catholiccompany.com lists nine ways to celebrate Mary this month.
The saints of the month are St. Joseph the Worker (May 1), St. Athanasius(May 2), Sts. Philip and James (May 3), St. Damien of Moloka’i (May 10), St. Nereus & Achilleus, St. Pancras (May 12), Our Lady of Fatima (May 13), St. Matthias (May 14), St. Isidore the Farmer (May 15), St. Dymphna (May 15), St. John I (May 18), St. Bernadine of Siena (May 20), St. Christopher Magallanes (May 21), St. Rita of Cascia (May 22), St. Bede, St. Gregory VII and St. Mary Magdalene de Pazzi (May 25), St. Philip Neri (May 26), St. Augustine of Canterbury (May 27) and the Visitation (May 31). As usual my recommendation for sharing content on the saints is to share posts from the “Portraits of the Saints” pages on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. This month I want to add a new recommendation with teachers and catechists in mind, Franciscan Media video series “Saint of the Day”.
For many parishes this month will be a time to celebrate the sacraments of First Communion and Confirmation, some will also celebrate graduations too. Sharing articles about the importance of choosing saint names, praying for vocations and the meaning of the Ascension are great seeds of faith to plant for followers. There are also some great themes associated with this month from the nationaltoday.com calendar that connect to our faith to share. It’s Asian American and Pacific Islander Month and celebrating the Feast of St. Damien of Moloka’i on May 10th is a wonderful way to edify people about how this great Saint impacted the lives of the afflicted people of the Hawaiian Islands. There are a number of days to share Catholic content that connects: National Pet Week (May 1 - 8), National Day of Prayer (May 2), National Teacher Day (May 7), International Day of Families (May 15), Armed Forces Day (18), National Scavenger Day (May 24), and Memorial Day (May 27).
There is also an observance designated this month to bring awareness to National Self-Esteem Month. This also coincides with the Feast of St. Dymphna, patron saint of mental disorders. This is a perfect time to bring awareness to St. Dymphna for her intercession with regard to the epidemic of mental disorders afflicting our youth today.
“The rise in suicide is more pronounced for girls. Although the rate increased for both sexes, three times as many 12 - 14-year-old girls killed themselves in 2015 than in 2007, compared to twice as many boys. Although the suicide rate is sill higher for boys (likely because they use more lethal methods), girls are beginning to catch up. For and outcome such as suicide - the end of a young and precious life, this is extremely worrisome rise. It’s also surprising, because more Americans now take antidepressants (one out of ten in the last year, more than double the rate of the mid-1990’s). Antidepressants are especially effective against severe depression, the type most strongly linked to suicide. Yet, they haven’t been enough to stem the growth of suicide among teens.” - excerpt “iGen: Why Today’s Super-Connected Kids Are Growing Up Less Rebellious, More Tolerant, Less Happy and Completely Unprepared for Adulthood” by Dr. Jean M. Twenge (2017)
Lastly, with Memorial Day being the unofficial beginning of summer and Skin Cancer Awareness month, it’s a good time to share that St. Bartholomew the Apostle is the patron saint for tanners and dermatology. This is also a great time to pay tribute to Catholic chaplains who have died in wars here’s a link to a great article to share.
Hope that these tips help you to practice digital discipleship this month!