Home | About Us | Subscriptions | Advertising | El Centinela
Catholic Sentinel | Portland, OR Tuesday, February 9, 2016
CYO Football 2015 2015 Priest Reassignments, Archdiocese of Portland Cardinal Francis George dies Mothering with faith Sisters of the Holy Names, 2015 Live Nativity at St. John the Baptist 2014 Fall CYO results Catholic Charities Donor Lunch 2014 Year of Consecrated Life opening Mass Holy Spirit Sisters Jubilee 2014 Seaside youth conference Mount Angel 125th Northwest Hub Furlow at papal Mass 2014 Rosary Bowl NW Brother André 2014 Fall 40 Days for Life 2014 Inauguration of Fr. Mark Poorman Coffee shop at abbey First day of school, 2014 Regis High School 50th anniversary 2014 Crooked Finger Pilgrimage Mass with migrant farm workers Maronite Ordination Consecration to "Immaculate Heart of Our Lady of Fatima" CYO track Southern Oregon Evangelization 2014 Priest Ordination Christ the King youth 2014 priest reassignments Our Lady of Lavang Confirmation, 2014 Memorial Day 2014 2014 Transitional deacon ordination Padre Foster Granados visits Albany Bishop Smith ordination Canonization of Pope John Paul II, Pope John XXIII Bishop Peter Smith 2014 Easter Vigil 2014 Walk of Cross 2014 Chrism Mass CYO basketball 2014 St. Patrick of the Forest 150th Catholic Charities Celebration of Hope, 2014 Boys2Men Archbishop visits Oregon State Penitentiary 40 Day Vigil for Life, 2014 Pope Francis creates new cardinals St. Henry shelter 2014 CYO swimming Funeral of Fr. George Wolf Travel on a budget Lunar New Year, 2014 Tech in Catholic schools 2014 Right to Life Rally Archbishop visits Santiam Prison First Mass in Oregon Milwaukie Posada St. Francis, Sherwood, Toy Drive Central Catholic football Typhoon Haiyan Deacon Ordination/ Kresbach, Schmitt A Catholic fisherman St. Cecilia Centennial Southern Oregon Welcome Mass Shepherd of the Valley, Central Point, dedication Grotto Anniversary 2013 Champions of Faith Dinner Gardenripe farms Coleman hop farm Corvallis Year of Faith Archbishop Howard at St. Rose Hitchhiking priests Franciscan Spiritual Center Sacred Heart, Medford Migrant Mass Tanzanians' jubilee World Youth Day 2013 2013 Blessing of the Animals 2013 Freedom Mass Albany school closure Fabric art Megan graduates from Catholic school St. Vincent de Paul Hillsboro 2013 Deacon ordination Sister Theresa Lamkin St. Helen Mission, Brownsville Marist Brainiacs St. Mary, Eugene St. Francis eighth graders Ascension confirmation 2013 Pastoral Ministry Conference St. Joseph Salem — Year of Faith Archbishop Sample's Installation Mass 2013 Archbishop Sample Chrism Mass 2013 2013 Young Catholics Pope Francis inauguration Celebration of Hope Vlazny Farewell Mass Archbishop Vlazny Farewell St. Paul Church in St. Paul Valley Catholic Green Building Rite of Election 2013 Water summit 2013 Lunar New Year Alveda King in Eugene New Monsignors, 2013 2013 Right to Life Rally MLK Mass, 2013 St. Henry, Gresham, Centennial Jesuit High drama School uniforms Friar in the mall Holy Trinity food ministry January Book Covers St. Andre Bessette food Year of Faith Mass Nestucca Sanctuary Hillsboro Choirs Father Betschart installation Salem Religious Freedom Rally Year of Faith Vespers, Awards Roy's Catholic School Adelante Mujeres 10th anniversary New Blanchet House Missionaries of Holy Spirit Priest, religious photos Providence Nursing Schools Pioneros Fortnight for Freedom Mark Bentz Deacon Ordination OLL School Walk Through Gaga over science St. Philip Neri Centennial Ordination of Bishop Cary SVDP, Grants Pass Holy Cross School centennial Confirmation - Mount Angel Holy Land Pilgrimage Blanchet Watershed Chrism Mass, 2012 Bishop-designate Cary Pope in Cuba, 2012 SSMO 125th Jubilee Mass Pope Benedict in Mexico 2012 Catholic Charities Celebration 2012 Madeleine Mardi Gras Centennial Rally for Life, 2012 Martin Luther King Jr. Mass 2012 Day Laborers-Guadalupe Guadalupe 2011 Christ the King, Milwaukie, 50th Sesame Doughnuts Central Catholic Volleyball St. Peter Centennial Deacon Ordination, October 2011 St. Agatha Centennial Rosary Bowl 2011 St. Wenceslaus, Scappoose, Centennial Filipino celebration Polish Festival 2011 Holy War Football 2011 World Youth Day 2011 Sun Gold Farm Our Lady of Victory's New Church Freedom Mass 2011 St. Mary Church Steeple Removal Priest reassignments, 2011 Old Catholic Buildings Paige Rice, St. Mary's runner Graduation 2011 Easter vigils 2011 Pastoral Ministry Conference Basketball Holy War 2011 Search for Peace 2011

Novena of Grace 2016

Home : News : Local
11/1/2012 11:16:00 AM
Priest has embraced social media, technology for evangelization
Courtesy of Fr. Bill Holtzinger
Father Bill Holtzinger of Grants Pass sits at podcast microphone as part of high-tech evangelization.
Courtesy of Fr. Bill Holtzinger
Father Bill Holtzinger of Grants Pass sits at podcast microphone as part of high-tech evangelization.
Ed Langlois
Of the Catholic Sentinel

GRANTS PASS — Massive buttons for Facebook, Twitter and Flickr are prominent on the web page of St. Anne Parish here. Designer of the site is Father Bill Holtzinger, known as Oregon's tech-savvy "geek priest."

Father Holtzinger, 45, has created a network of podcasts, websites and social network pages, all with the intent of spreading news of Jesus and the Catholic Church.

His personal Facebook page has almost 5,000 "likes." There, he posts photos and observations.

Sometimes he is just letting people know that clergy are regular guys who hike and surf and watch football. With other contributions, his aim is starting conversations about values and faith. Last week, he included a brief post sent while in a waiting room at an oil-change shop. He mentioned his delight at finding a way to switch the television channel from "The View," a daytime talk show.

"I honestly have nothing good to say about the show," the priest spoke into his phone, which software converted to text before he sent it on the way to Facebook. "It illustrates the worst of our society."

That began a discussion, with most contributors confirming his opinion.
Father Holtzinger has recorded 380 podcast episodes, speaking about scripture, faith, society and life's choices. The podcasts have been downloaded a half million times. He is aware of the revolutionary change this has brought. A priest is still primarily a man for his local parish, but can also preach around the globe.  

Father Holtzinger tends a separate Facebook page for St. Anne Parish. It includes hundreds of photos and dozens of videos celebrating parish life. Last week, the priest sent a post from a parish cultural fair and invited everyone to drop by. The parish school and the youth ministry also have Facebook pages.

"The point of all this is evangelization," he says.

His attention to Facebook and Twitter, plus his skill at texting, keep him in close contact with staff and parishioners. People have even sent private messages to him on Facebook, letting him know someone was ill and in need of anointing.

Father Holtzinger says he's surprised how many Facebook users are middle aged and older. Even his 87-year-old mother keeps up with him on Facebook. Still, 20- and 30-somethings make up the largest part of his network. Teens seem to use Facebook mostly to keep in touch with each other, not to explore ideas or the world, he reports.

People have told him that they returned to the church because of his Facebook page, websites and podcasts.   

Social media like Facebook call for concise communications, which say a lot in a few words. The idea, Father Holtzinger says, is not to put out a lot of information, but to bring people into the conversation. Once that starts, the teaching can gain depth.

He's still trying to figure out what to do with Twitter and its 140-character limit. So far, he's used it to report on daily activities so people feel comfortable with him.   

Father Holtzinger knows that more and more people will use more and more social media and that gives him a chance to reach more people.

That said, he makes a conscious effort to be available to people who have not gone digital. And even for parishioners who are plugged in, there are certain conversations he'll have only in person. Matters that are heated or controversial ought to be discussed face to face, he says.  

"I'm a fan of high-tech and low-tech," he says. "Low-tech will always be there and we need to know when to use it."



Advanced Search






Mary Jo Tully ~ The Path to Resurrection

News | Viewpoints | Faith & Spirituality | Parish and School Life | Entertainment | Obituaries | Find Churches and Schools | About Us | Subscriptions | Advertising
E-Newsletter | RSS Feeds

© 2016 Catholic Sentinel, a service of Oregon Catholic Press

Software © 1998-2016 1up! Software, All Rights Reserved