We at Franciscan Media strive to provide hope to those who are hungry for it. And hope is a resource we must protect.
A quote often attributed to St. Francis of Assisi that I’ve always loved is, “All the darkness in the world cannot extinguish the light of a single candle.” There’s no evidence he said those words, but they are so inherently Franciscan that it hardly matters. That quote is at the heart of what we do at Franciscan Media: To spread light in an often dark world. And it is the drumbeat of my own work here.
I started at Franciscan Media in 2001 as an assistant editor at its flagship magazine, St. Anthony Messenger. In those first years I wrote many editorials, articles, and columns for the magazine. I am lucky to have interviewed movie stars, politicians, and artists; priests, poets, and prison chaplains. I have been fortunate to encounter many lives and tell many stories. And though I deeply love my work with the magazine—so much so that I am now co-leading it—10 years into my tenure at the company, I realized something that rattled me: The magazine wasn’t enough anymore. I was too terrified to say it out loud—but God heard me.
Our company blog started not long before social media became an indomitable force in our culture. Suddenly, a door opened. I could guide our company’s digital outreach while keeping my feet firmly in the magazine. And that was what my heart was seeking: an opportunity to spread the Gospel in the spirit of St. Francis along two vastly different platforms.
Evangelization in the digital world is a force unlike anything I’ve experienced. It takes months to create one issue of St. Anthony Messenger. As editors, we can only hope that our readers relish what we give them, but there’s no sure way to gage our successes or failures. Digital is different. In minutes, I can create a blog, publish it, share it along our social channels, and watch as readership rises.
Through comments on our many web features, I can see, unmistakably, that our digital work is touching lives. People are hungry for hope. I am lucky to be a part of a channel that provides it every day.
I am honored, as one of the architects of Franciscan Media’s digital footprint, to contribute to our popular, daily e-newsletters, such as Saint of the Day, Minute Meditations, Pause+Pray, and this blog. I can see how some 150,000 people engage with those popular features each month. These free digital newsletters provide hope to those who are hungry for it. And hope is a resource we must protect.