The Project

In the Gospel narrative of the Good Samaritan, the listener asks Jesus, “Who is My Neighbour?” Undoubtedly, this question has even more significance when our neighbour is somewhere out there is cyberspace. Never before in history have we had the ability to reach out to so many and cross huge distances and barriers. With this new freedom and possibility of communication comes the need for a gospel approach. The Good Samaritan story told by Jesus reminds us to be compassionate, treat others with dignity and take care of our neighbour.

Within the Catholic tradition, we have teachings and writings that can give us guidance for how we live online. Catholic Social Teaching presents the priorities of Solidarity, Dignity of the Human Person, Justice and the Sanctity of Life. By applying these principles to how we interact with social media, we can become more mindful of our neighbour.

To truly live as a ‘discerning believer’, we become citizens who work to promote what is good. Social media, like any human interaction, requires discernment. We make decisions, we reflect on our decisions and we act in ways that are in the best interest of our neighbour.

Pope Benedict XVI expressed this call to gospel presence when he sent out this message on World Communication Day, 2011:

“There exists a Christian way of communication which is honest and open, responsible and respectful of others”, he wrote. “To proclaim the Gospel through the new media means not only to insert expressly religious content into different media platforms, but also to witness consistently, in one’s own digital profile and in the way one communicates choices, preference and judgements that are fully consistent with the Gospel.”

The scripture passage of the Good Samaritan ends with a call to all of us to live out compassion and respect for others. May we bring this to all of our interaction in this new world of social media.

“Go and do likewise.”

School Board Partnerships using the "Samaritans" Program

Holy Spirit School,