As part of its preparations for the current Year of Faith, the archdiocesan Office of Religious Education decided to broaden its digital outreach and use Twitter to re-connect/introduce people to the historic documents of Vatican II during its 50th anniversary year. “We decided we wanted to make sure that parishes had resources, so we started a webpage on the archdiocese’s website that has the documents as well as events offered across the archdiocese that deal with the Year of Faith, Vatican II or the New Evangelization,” said Mike Norman, archdiocesan associate director of the Office of Religious Education.“And then we said, ‘Let’s challenge ourselves as an office,’ so we divided up the Vatican II documents, found [important] quotes and narrowed than down to 140 characters” allowed in Twitter “tweets,” explained Norman. “Our goal is to introduce a line or a quote from one of the Vatican II documents, and then we want to have dialogue [with] people responding,” he continued. “It engages conversation online about these different quotes.”He noted that the day the announcement went up about the Vatican II twitter project on ORE’s Year of Faith homepage on Oct. 11 — Vatican II’s official anniversary — 47 new “likes” appeared on the website. Two or three new tweets will appear weekly on ORE’s Twitter account (@OREinADLA) and Facebook page (, as well as on the ORE Year of Faith webpage, which can be accessed on their unique homepage of the larger archdiocesan website ( More than 150 separate tweets will be published through the end of the Year of Faith, which concludes before the beginning of Advent 2013.“We tweeted a lot during Youth Day and the Religious Education Congress last year, but this would be the first time we’ve done this document-based dialogue about church documents,” said Norman.Last week’s Oct. 22 tweet dealt with the topic of the use of sacramentals, such as holy water and blessed oil. “Sacramentals impart grace — celebrating them disposes the faithful to receive this grace, worship God duly & practice charity. SC59.” (Note: SC is an abbreviation for “Sacrosanctum Concilium,” the Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy.)An earlier quote discussed extreme unction: “‘Extreme unction,’ more fittingly called ‘Anointing of the sick,’ is not a sacrament for those only who are at the point of death. SC73.”“We would like to expand the tweets into dialogues about formation,” said Norman. “We hope it models for parishes what they could be doing for ministries in their parishes because it draws people in — it’s educational/formational, but also engaging and fun at the same time.”“Putting these quotes together reminded me how significant the Council was, and how just a few words here and there had an enormous impact on the Church,” said Douglas Leal, archdiocesan coordinator for adult faith formation and young adult ministry. “For example, the Council uses just one sentence to recommend a wider use of the vernacular at Mass.“Many of the quotes are also as relevant and fresh today as they were 50 years ago. If you didn’t know the source, you’d think they were just written today about the issues we’re facing in our time,” added Leal.