Welcome to the Catholic Creatives Facebook group! We’re glad to meet you. You’re joining a community made up of many of the most innovative, talented, hardworking and influential creative minds in the Church today.
The Facebook group is one of the most visible manifestations of Catholic Creatives, but it’s far from the only place that we connect as a community. Visit the About Us page to learn more about what we stand for, what we do, and where we’re headed. If you’re short on time then the one thing you shouldn’t skip is our Core Beliefs—everything we do is based on these essential values.
As you’ll see, the Catholic Creatives experience is larger than a facebook group. In a sense, the Facebook group is the online glue that connects all of them together, but it is a launchpad, not a destination. This is the medium that we use to facilitate conversation between members; it’s the easiest, most universal way of gathering so many diverse people from all over the world to plant the seeds of collaboration, renaissance, and relationship. But the natural thing for relationships started on facebook to do is to move into real life.
This is a place to discuss big issues—finding answers together to the problems and opportunities facing us as Catholics in this new “digital continent” Most importantly, many new friendships have their origin in the discussions we have on Facebook, because this is where you’ll find people who think like you! If you’ve had trouble finding “your people,” people who get it, then you’re not alone. We’re in here!
While it’s a useful tool, communicating on Facebook (and online in general) has its potential pitfalls, thus, in the interest of making the group a fertile, safe environment for the above seeds to grow, we’ve evolved some straightforward guidelines for using the group.
Listen first, understand second, respond third
This is tough to do sometimes in person or online, but it’s especially vital to having useful discussions online. We should fully read what the person wrote, make sure we understand what they meant and what they’re actually saying (ask questions if you don't! See below!) and then provide a response that agrees or disagrees with what they’ve said and why.
Give people the benefit of the doubt
This might reference tone, intention, or even misunderstandings. We’ve all typo’ed an important word or been misunderstood when what we typed sounded better in our heads. We’re here to make friends! So don’t respond in that snarky “surely you didn’t just say this heresy” manner. A better way would be to ask the question, “Did you mean to say XYZ? If so, can you explain this more?” Keep in mind these are humans you’re talking to—sinful, mistake-prone, experienced, hurt, and otherwise imperfect humans—not just screen names.
Be Vulnerable, Respect Vulnerability
Our discussions are at their best when we speak from personal experiences, and then respect those personal experiences. Concrete examples from our own lives are more difficult to share, but stories often soften and humanize the discussion, allowing deeper empathy to be fostered. Empathy is foundational for creativity, and is a vital part of problem solving.
Seek friendship first
There are many other forums online where discussions about theology or politics or liturgy are happening. This group isn’t built to be a place for us to promote ourselves or our conclusions about the universe. In this group we seek unity and friendship, and in every post want to deepening our community. Before posting, we should ask ourselves, “Will this post build community?” Try to avoid comments that self promote, troll, or vent, as these can cheapen the community.
Especially in conversations that may be sensitive for whatever reason (political, racial, etc), we seek each other’s good in a pastoral, loving approach just as much we seek to communicate the truth. It's easy to feel threatened and respond out of our own fear or emotion. We cannot dehumanize each other by prioritizing a discussion point over the good and dignity of another. No truth is so important that our love is lost or our mission to bring each other to Heaven is sacrificed.
As admins, we’ll do our best to let conversations run their course. If any issues arise, the admin team will approach them in the same spirit as the above guidelines, treating everyone involved with charity, and doing whatever possible to resolve situations peacefully and with due consideration. We might join the discussion, remove or close threads if they are greatly outside the bounds of edifying conversation, and/or reach out to participants to help mediate disagreements or remind them of our shared values. In rare cases, we may remove someone from the group if they are so at odds with the core values of the group that it would be harmful to continue to allow them to participate, but we’ll always do whatever we can to resolve things in a private, human way.
What Should I Post?
Before you make a post, we encourage you to explore the group and engage in some of the conversations that are already happening, or have been happening. Self promotion is not allowed–we want to be the sort of community that lifts each other up. On Tuesdays we have a thread called Show Off Tuesday for any professional work that you are working on (any work is welcome as long as it is paid work). On Sundays we encourage people to share hobby or personal projects. Finally, job or collaboration posts go on a specific job post. Search in the group search bar "job and collab" and you’ll find the latest one in there. The ideal Catholic Creatives Facebook post is one that creates a conversation–so if you’re posting, think about what kind of conversation we could have about your post.
That’s it! If you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to reach out to any of the group admins on this page. Again, welcome to the Catholic Creatives community.