MERRILLVILLE | The Diocese of Gary Office for Youth & Young Adults is the recipient of a $1,500 Communications Grant from the National Catholic Society of Foresters.
Loretta Nelson, of Cedar Lake, a National Board member for the NCSF, met recently with the Most Reverend Dale J. Melczek, bishop of the Diocese of Gary, and Kevin Driscoll, director of the Office for Youth & Young Adults, to deliver the check.
Driscoll’s office coordinates a number of programs and services that seek to inspire better and more frequent faith experiences for Catholic teens and young adults. He believes the grant will help carry out the office’s mission.
“Today’s young people have to process more information faster than ever before,” Driscoll said. "Too often, they can’t hear the Word of God, because religion is drowned out by non-stop secular messages. We are seeking new ways to deliver the Gospel to an audience always connected to media.”
Driscoll said the grant will be used on consulting services and expenses associated with integrating new media to communicate and evangelize the diocese’s many programs, especially its annual summer youth conference, the Catholic Youth Xperience. Strategies will include promotion, networking, and information-exchange through social media like Facebook and Twitter, texting, and seeking other ways to interact with teens using hand-held devices.
OYYA recently added online video streaming at the Catholic Youth Xperience, mostly to help parents process the event with their children when they return home. Driscoll said it has been well-received, and the grant will assist in expanding the quality and scope of such web-based ministry opportunities.
NCSF is a national fraternal insurance association which offers scholarship and grant programs, many of which support Catholic education. The Communications Grant is awarded in dioceses throughout the U.S. where NCSF is actively involved.