Tell us a little about your work with the Star Quest Production Network (SQPN).
For the past two years or so, I’ve been employed by the Board of Directors of SQPN (Star Quest Production Network) as its Executive Director. As anyone who works with a small non-profit organization knows, I have to be a Jack-of-all-trades in this position. Linda Nielsen (our CFO) and I are responsible for all the rather mundane aspects of the corporation, including accounting, budgeting, a certain amount of public relations, and facilitating the other work of the Board of Directors.
Fr. Roderick Vonhogen is, of course, the main creative brain behind SQPN. He’s awfully fun to work with because you never know what new idea he’s going to come up with.
We have a number of on-going audio programs (podcasts) that tell the story of Catholic Christianity and reach out to the secular world in a friendly and helpful way.
This fall, there’s an exciting Catholic New Media Conference (CNMC) shaping up, and you’re in charge of the details, right? Share what’s going on for this year’s CNMC.
This will be our fourth annual CNMC and this year it will be held in Kansas City, Kansas. Archbishop Joseph Naumann and the staff of the Archdiocese of Kansas City in Kansas have been very welcoming and supportive of this year’s event. At their invitation, we will be located at the Savior Pastoral Center, the converted former seminary of the archdiocese, so I suppose it will have a bit of a “college” feel to it.
We’ve got some excellent speakers again this year. Sean Patrick Lovett, director of Vatican Radio, will share his experiences and Vatican perspective on Catholic media.
The American perspective will come from Sr. Anne Flanagan (aka “the nunblogger”) from Pauline Books and Media. I’m very excited about both of these speakers.
Our workshop and breakout presenters will include our good friend and well-known author Lisa Hendey (CatholicMom.com) and writer and speaker Pat Gohn (AmongWomen and Patheos). They will provide our attendees with invaluable advice and resources for the spiritual formation of the “Catholic Communicator.”
Matthew Warner and Jeff Geerling (both from flockNote.com) will be our resident techies. For those looking to incorporate new technologies into their online presence, especially the use of “social media,” you won’t want to miss them.
In fact, we believe what they have to offer is so invaluable, we are offering an extra day of workshops preceding the CNMC for some extra focused presentations.
Besides the speakers and presentations, the CNMC has become an excellent networking event for all involved in Catholic media, whether they are authors, podcasters, and bloggers or clergy and parish webmasters. I think anyone would benefit by attending.
What’s the biggest challenge you’re facing as you work behind the scenes on this year’s CNMC?
I think we have organized an excellent conference for this year. I am very excited about it.
The challenge now is to get the word out so we can have as many people attend as we have room for. I hope your readers will consider coming and pass the word about the CNMC to their friends and colleagues.
What are you personally most looking forward to at the CNMC?
I am very excited to have Sean Patrick Lovett and Sr. Anne Flanagan in the same room together. Not only do they have unique and interesting perspectives, but they are just wonderful people to be with.
How is this year’s CNMC going to be different than in past years?
Each CNMC has been in a different part of the country and has had a different flavor to it. This year will have a Midwest flair to it and since all activities will be at the Savior Pastoral Center, I think we will have even more opportunities to get to know one another.
We’ve also incorporated some shared spiritual time to the schedule, including Morning and Evening Prayer and Sunday Mass. Being a former seminary, the Savior Pastoral Center is an ideal location for this.
Why should all try to get ourselves to the CNMC this year?
It will be two days of sharing and learning about Catholic media, particularly how to incorporate social media and new technologies into personal, parish and organizational communication strategies. So much of the New Evangelization is going to start in the online world.
In my opinion, everyone working in Catholic evangelization and outreach needs to learn what these new techniques are, how to be spiritually formed for this type of work, where to meet others working in this field, and to be encourged to begin. This is what we’re hoping the CNMC will provide.
For those of us who won’t be able to attend, is there a way to be involved?
Absolutely! Please encourage anyone you know who working in Catholic media to attend. This might be your pastor, parish webmaster, organizational leaders, or anyone who has a blog or podcast and promotes the Catholic faith. Anyone interested in Catholic evangelization and outreach is invited.
If you cannot physically be present at the CNMC, we plan to stream live video from some of the presentations during the CNMC. We know that much of the SQPN worldwide community cannot come to Kansas City, so we will do our best to share the conference with them.
For registration information and to follow all the CNMC news, please visit http://cnmc.sqpn.com. As we get closer to October 1, we will post information about how to tune into the presentations. You can also follow CNMC news on Twitter at www.twitter.com/cnmc.