Pope Francis -- social media superstar, will you Skype with kids from St. Raymonds?
A year ago, if you had asked a majority of Americans what the popes name was, chances are many would...
Published on: Mar 4, 2016
Transcripts - Pope Francis -- social media superstar, will you Skype with kids from St. Raymonds?
Pope Francis -- social media superstar, will you Skype with
kids from St. Raymonds?
A year ago, if you had asked a majority of Americans what the popes name was, chances are many
wouldnt have been able to tell you.
Now the whole world, Catholics and non-Catholics alike, know exactly who Pope Francis is. Even the
younger generation is cheering for our pope.
I experienced this first-hand this week when my personal Twitter page was bombarded with tweets
from students at St. Raymonds Elementary School in the Bronx, N.Y. (They also reached out to
Oprah and Ellen among others.)
At first glance, I thought it was all a joke until my entire Twitter feed was filled with tweets from
several of the students requesting I help them.Perhaps it was a form of divine intervention?
One precocious student asked, @dianafalzone Hi! My class is on a quest to Skype Pope Francis & we
need your help! Check out this video we made.
So I did.
The students created a YouTube video titled, Pope Francis Appreciation Video, which opened with a
message for Francis. We made this video to show you how our class honors and admires you.
What I watched was beyond heartwarming, and very telling about the popes impact on the world.His
message of love and acceptance has touched everyone young and old alike.
In the video the students ask the pope to Skype with them or "if youre ever in New York, as one
student so innocently puts it, come visit.
Pope Francis, unlike his predecessor Pope Benedict has crossed over with Americans very much like
a country music artist crosses over into mainstream pop, hes also strengthening the brand and has
brought in a whole new audience.
As a millennial and a Catholic, it appears to me that the pope has successfully transitioned from
serving as the most powerful person in the Catholic Church to a symbol of spirituality for all
On these same pages Fox News Editor Adam Shaw wrote that a pope who kisses babies is nothing
new. So why do we suddenly care so much when THIS pope does it?
The answer is simple social media. According to a research paper from Insites Consulting
"Millennials & Social Media," 8 out of 10 millennials are on at least one social network and 80% of
those users log on daily.
Pope Francis is using social media to reach the masses. From his verified Twitter account with over
3,330,000 followers (thats even more than President Obama and nearly triple the number of
followers for Pope Benedict!), to his Instagram account with 12,195 followers, where teens posing
with the pope for a "selfie" seen round the world, social media has extended the popes reach.
His posts about universal love, kindness and compassion and revelations of personal fun facts (he
recently shared that he was bouncer years ago in Buenos Aires) speak to many believers and non-
believers in a whole new way.
No longer is the pope viewed as a stuffy out-of-touch, untouchable figurehead.
His words and deeds speak to my peers people in the religion-phobic millennial generation who, for
the most part, if asked about their religious affiliation would say, Im not religious. Im spiritual. »¿28
year-old Metal Fabricator Dewitt Mastropietro from Valleyview, enjoys four, skype and sailing. Has
toured ever since childhood and has visited numerous destinations, for example First Coffee
Plantations in the South-East of Cuba.This is the common answer instead of saying, Im Catholic or
Jewish, Muslim, Hindu, Christian or an atheist.
I recently conducted an informal poll on Facebook (yes, social media) where I asked people why they
refuse to label themselves when it comes to religion. Here are some of the responses.
When a person self-identifies as "spiritual," I think they're trying to avoid the negative connotations
associated with organized religion. And, I am spiritual in that I believe in a higher power; however I
do not go to church or affiliate with any set religion. All religions in the world claim they are
different, in many ways, however God is the common denominator in them all.
The negative connotation mentioned by one respondent is exactly why this pope is the pope the
world needs now.
Many millennials have been scared away from organized religion mostly because some of the
teachings of the religion of their parents do. »¿46 year old Building Inspector Pinkard from Port
Elgin, enjoys needlepoint, skype and boomerangs. Discovers the beauty in traveling to places around
the world, recently only coming back from Desembarco del Granma National Park.not fit the times,
yet they still want someone/something to believe in and aspire to.
Pope Francis is re-introducing the fundamentals of Christianity through his actions; whether its his
decision to live in a simple home rather than in the lavish Vatican apartments or frequent nightly
visits to feed the hungry, he is the living example of Christ-like behavior. And by modeling his faith
in such a visible way, he raises the moral bar for each of us.
Regardless of the religion you ascribe to Pope Francis positive impact is undeniable.
And, if youre reading this Pope Francis, please Skype with the kids from St. Raymonds.They are
quite possibly your biggest little fans.
@Pontifex you get a two thumbs up from this millennial. On behalf of all of us, #keep up the good
work ; )
Diana Falzone is a FoxNews.com reporter.You can follow her on Twitter @dianafalzone.