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Notre Dame parishes get grant to strengthen Church's digital strategy

A university institute will receive money to develop a program for Catholic parish leaders. 

The McGrath Institute for Church Life, a group that support training people theologically and practically in leadership, connected to Notre Dame Cathedral and university, has received a $1 million grant to strengthen parishes in the digital age. 

The money will be used to start a 'Church Communications Ecology' program which will help parish leaders look at how they can use technology effectively and evaluate how to use it well. 

Brett Robinson, the academic director of the Church Communications Ecology program, said: "The revitalisation of Catholic parishes requires that we pay attention to the forms of communication that lead to deeper communion.

"An awareness of the ways in which media and technology shape our psychology and social dynamics must be taken into account when thinking about how to enhance Catholic identity, trust, and vitality at the parish level."

The institute held an event last summer about a Catholic understanding of culture and meaningful cultural engagement.

The institute received the $1 million grant from Lilly Endowment Inc., an American private philanthropic organisation and the money is aimed at helping strengthen parish congregations in the digital age. 

"The sacraments, which form the life and being of the parish, are all, in their own way, communications of the Word who continues to make Himself flesh," said John Cavadini, the McGrath-Cavadini Director of the McGrath Institute. 

"Our communications strategy must be conformed to this primal and ongoing communication if our parishes are to thrive in the flesh instead of languishing in abstraction and virtual reality."

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