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Day two in Rome and lunch with Mark Thelan (@CampionProject) in one of the better Trattorias on the Borgo Pio. Excellent carbonara.

Mark is preparing for ordination to the diaconate later this month and then to the Sacred Priesthood in December, please God, and is also involved with Why Not Priest website which promotes vocations to the priesthood using online material – blogs, video and social media.

It was a chance meeting, actually, arranged by a mutual friend in Washington D.C. Neither of us had met before but it was good to chat about life in Rome and Mark’s social media work promoting vocations and generally being a Catholic voice in the blogosphere.

The world of social communications really has grown beyond any expectations in recent years. With the new media and social media expansion, we are all now in a place to enable the Church to have a voice in the most unlikely places – surely a proper contemporary expression of lay involvement?

This means that we are all able to promote a personal apostolate; bringing the Christian gospel into people’s lives through our daily work and actions, and allowing the Lord to speak through us. As Fr Barron said in his recent trip to London, the great Archbishop Fulton Sheen would have given his high teeth for such opportunities, and it’s our duty – our obligation – to put these gifts to the service of Christ and his Church.

In August I will be giving a workshop at the Evangelium Conference entitled “The Personal Apostolate: New Media and the New Evangelisation”. Over the coming weeks I’ll be putting my thoughts together for that, so please do chip in with your own experiences and advice.

Our baptism means that we have a dignity in Christ, and a duty to proclaim him to the world. When we’re given such obvious means to do that, it’s churlish to think we can ignore them or fail to learn how we can use them to fulfil that calling.