by Margaret Haik, Director of Communications
One of my first jobs in high school was at a B. Dalton Booksellers. Christmas was the busiest time to work there, and we ran a lot of credit card sales. This was in the 1980s, so customers had to hand over their credit card to the cashier, who then put it in the credit card imprinter, laid the 2-part sales slips with carbon paper in between over top of the card and slid the imprinter across the top so that the raised numbers made a mark on the credit slips.
Yesterday, I received the latest edition of debit card from my bank. At first, I thought it was a defective card because there were no embossed numbers on it. The front of the card only had the bank design. When I turned it over, my name and card number were printed on the surface. Google helped me learn that since the advent of chip and touches technology, embossing the numbers on credit and debit cards is no longer necessary. Technology has moved us beyond what has been so familiar.
Sometimes things change because the original technology becomes outdated, like with the debit card; sometimes things change because a need arises. The “Great Pandemic of 2020” has caused a lot of change, and the technology we rely on has changed, too. With these changes, the Kansas City Province communication efforts are changing.
The first big change is that this is the last edition of the Weekly Wine Press. With the blessing of the provincial council, the communications office will still send out a weekly publication, but it will have a slightly different focus and look to it. First, the name: Precious Blood Spirituality at Home (“At Home” for short). The name of our blog is the same name of a bigger plan for our communication efforts during the pandemic. We expect that there will be starts and stops to the “re-opening” of different communities in our country and there will be a continued need to help members and Companions to remain connected to the province. As all previous communication efforts, Precious Blood Spirituality at Home will promote the spirituality and charisms of the Missionaries of the Precious Blood, with added layers reflective of issues, concerns, and needs that have arisen during the pandemic.
The Communication Office’s efforts will meet the Precious Blood community at whatever technical level they choose to function. The New Wine Press will still go out in the mail monthly. Precious Blood Spirituality at Home will be posted on the province website and go out in email formats. Some of the province’s communication contributors are experimenting with using video as a new form of ministry. For those who are users of social media, “Tapping the Wine Cellar” on the province’s Facebook page on Thursdays at 2 p.m. allows for commenting and participating in the weekly Gospel reflection. And for those who are Zoom users, be on the lookout for an experiment with a series of mini-conferences that is in development.
Life has caused a huge shift in the technology we use. Some things will change because of it, and the provincial leadership team and I are excited about the opportunity to connect with the Precious Blood community in new ways with these new efforts.