“The culture is changing faster than ever before. That has a lot to do with the means of communication,” Fr. Jonathan stated. “Look how the Vitae Foundation has shifted, and thank God it has, from television to the internet. The fact is, people are able to find Vitae rather than Vitae having to find its clients.”
These changes in communication are good, even though it means we know so much more than we used to in a given day. Fr. Jonathan pointed to the fact that we know what Pope Francis says on a daily basis.
“The Papacy has completely changed compared to the times of John Paul II or Paul VI or 70 years ago. We know what’s going on, and we can get it in an instant,” the media expert said.
This change can also create an unbelievable amount of tension and difficulty in the way we live our lives. Fr. Jonathan noted the tension is exacerbated by living in an increasing secularized culture. People are quick to go on social media and state their beliefs on politics or social issues, and immediately there are people ranting at them for their beliefs.
“This transformation of our culture, our society, is going so fast; it’s different than any other time. Is that good? I think it really is. Why do I say that? Because it’s bringing us to live in a world in which we cannot hide behind anything whatsoever,” the media expert stated. “We know all these things, and we need to be open and transparent about it because this is the foundation for a great miracle that I believe God wants to do and is doing.
“The Vitae Foundation is set up to be on the very edge of the sword for this great renewal of the people of God. What is this renewal of the people of God referring to? The world is smaller right now. It’s very small. The world is so small right now that you and I can have an influence like we have never had an influence before.”
Vitae President Debbie Stokes told the audience that in the early day of Vitae’s TV campaigns, a large net was cast trying to catch the attention of women. It was expensive and not always efficient, but then it was where that audience lived.
“Today they live online,” Stokes said. “These abortion-determined women, some of whom have already scheduled abortion appointments, are not just seeing an ad. They are calling or filling out a form, sharing personal and often heartbreaking information and making appointments with Pregnancy Help Centers.”
At a time when Planned Parenthood spends $190 million annually on advertising and marketing, Vitae goes head-to-head with them on search engines. Time after time, the first listings are these life-affirming pregnancy centers that can help women with the issues that she considers standing in the way of carrying her baby to term.
Last year, over 10,000 women who saw a Vitae ad connected with their local Pregnancy Help Center (PHC). Vitae Market Director Zip Rzeppa announced that since Vitae moved its digital marketing and media strategies in-house, 45,350 women who have seen a Vitae ad have contacted a PHC as of October 31. If only half of these women choose life, abortion providers like Planned Parenthood will experience an estimated $11.3 million in lost revenue from the abortions they did not get to perform.”
“Our goal this year was to lead 30,000 women to seek and to find the help they need,” Rzeppa stated. “We have a new goal to double this by year end.”
Fr. Jonathan circled back to his opening statement that we are living in really tough times. He noted, however, that as tough as things appear to be, these are also the best of times.
“They are the best times for spreading the Gospel, but we need a transformation of the mind. We should not live according to the patterns of the world, which is ‘Everybody who disagrees with me is an enemy.’ That’s what the world is making us into,” Fr. Jonathan noted. “That is not the Gospel. That is not a Christian. That is not the type of life that God wants us to live.”
The former program director of SiriusXM’s The Catholic Channel didn’t have an exact solution, but what he knows for sure is that the meek will inherit the Kingdom of God. It’s going to take humility if we’re going to transform the world with the vision that God has in store for us.
“The best evangelizers are the ones who are humble. The Vitae Foundation, by understanding and doing research on the reasons why very good women abort their children, is set up to make a huge difference. It was founded for these times,” Fr. Jonathan stated. “We’re living in great times. We’re living in awesome times, if we’re humble.”
(photo credit/Matt Freebersyser)