Congratulations to Maria Marsella, founder of the new service SacredVerse.com, on her creative use of new media technology in evangelization. Maria has shared the following press release to introduce our CatholicMom.com readers to SacredVerse.com:
Wishing to stay in touch with her daughter away at college and taking her cue from Pope Benedict XVI’s call to use modern technologies to spread the Gospel, Maria Marsella founded SacredVerse.com, a communications tool now available on the Internet.
“I wanted to stay connected to my daughter without being a nag,” Marsella explains. “I also wanted to encourage her to keep God in the center of her life, a challenge for any parent.”
On a subscription basis, SacredVerse.com automatically sends to a cell number a weekly verse taken from Sacred Scripture and the writings of saints and recent popes. For example, the papal message last week quoted Pope John Paul II: “The truth is not always the same as the majority decision.” The Scripture verse was James 1:2: “Count it all joy when you meet trials, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness.” The messages are selected based on their pertinence to the times we live in, Marsella explains.
The inspiration for SacredVerse.com came to Marsella when she noticed that text messaging was the best way to communicate with her daughter. “She seldom answered her phone and e-mails,” Marsella says, describing an experience shared by many parents, “so I decided to text message and discovered that she would more readily respond.”
Marsella sometimes squeezed into a text more than a reminder to take vitamins. “People use text messaging to send jokes and vote on American Idol,” Marsella says, “so I decided to send something uplifting.” To her surprise, her daughter appreciated the encouragement.
Pope Benedict XVI has also noted the widespread use of cell phones among youth. “Young people, in particular, have grasped the enormous capacity of the new media to foster connectedness, communication and understanding,” he said in a May 2009 speech, noting that “many benefits flow from this new culture of communication.”
One of these benefits is that families can remain in touch with each other over long distances, the Pope added, but he urged that attention be paid not only to the speed and efficiency of modern communications but also to the quality of its content, a call that Marsella has taken to heart. “Text messages can be a tool of evangelization,” she says.
SacredVerse.com can be used by parents to evangelize their children, but also by anyone who would like to send inspiring messages to the people they love. “Our children are not the only ones who need this kind of encouragement,” Marsella says. “The other beauty of text messaging is that you can forward it anywhere, anytime to as many friends as you want. In modern lingo this is called viral marketing,” Marsella continues. “Why not tap into that to lead others to Christ.”
For additional information, visit SacredVerse.com or call Riz Marsella, 415-260-8809.