Currently on an “ad limina” visit to the Vatican, Detroit Auxiliary Bishop Arturo Cepeda is taking the Michigan faithful along with him by means of his blog.
“My blog is for all of my people in the Archdiocese of Detroit who can actually follow every single movement that I do,” Bishop Arturo Cepeda told CNA Feb. 3. “I call it a ‘virtual pilgrimage.’”
“So I’m blogging every single day, every meeting I go to. I take pictures and send them to my blog. I’m able to text and tell them what my feelings are and what’s going on.”
Ordained in May 2011 as an auxiliary bishop for Detroit, 42-year-old Bishop Cepeda is making the pilgrimage required of all dioceses every five years to meet with the Pope.
The current visit allows the bishops of Detroit and Cincinnati to update the Pope and the Vatican on the health of the Church in their regions of the U.S.
For Bishop Cepeda, the “updating” goes two ways.
“For example, when I go to meetings with the different Vatican congregations, I give those reading the blog some idea of the issues we’ve just discussed,” he explained.
The auxiliary bishop's relative youth places him in a generation more at ease with the world of new media like Facebook, Twitter, and blogs.
“I’m a product of the 70s, and that was when that particular technological revolution began,” he said, “so I’ve always been on top of all the technological gadgets that are out there and I feel very comfortable with it all – and I believe that our future generations of Catholics feel very comfortable with it too.”
As the Church approaches Pope Benedict XVI’s “Yearof Faith” which begins in October 2012, Bishop Cepeda also believes that such technologies can aid in the “New Evangelization” of the traditionally Christian West.
“I do believe in the new media and I do believe in communication. It’s a gift not only for society but it’s also a gift for our Church.”
“We want to communicate our feelings, we want to communicate our thoughts. We want to communicate faith, and truth, and how the truth can change our culture.”
Recent blog entries by the bishop have covered his Feb. 3 audience with Pope Benedict, as well as the unusually heavy snow covering Rome.
“Let me tell you, I lived here in Rome for five years and never saw snow fall once. So this is the first time I’ve seen snow in my life here in Rome and it is coming down pretty heavy.”
Detroit Catholics, of course, got an update about it at http://aodonline.wordpress.com/.
“I have already taken pictures and sent them to my blog,” Bishop Cepeda said, clutching his smartphone. “I told them: ‘Guess what! Right after our meeting with the Holy Father it began to snow – so it seems that Detroit is following me all the way to Rome!’”