here in Toronto, but Salt + Light has already experienced a flurry of activity. Today we welcomed Cardinal John Foley, the former president of the Pontifical Council for Social Communication and the current Grand Master of the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulchre of Jerusalem, Father Federico Lombardi, the head of the Holy See Press Office, the Apostolic Nuncio to Canada Archbishop Luigi Ventura, the founder of Zenit Jesus Colina, Vatican commentator and author John Allen, and Catholic musician John Michael Talbot.
If this is an indication of things to come over the next three days, we're in for a very exciting media convention!
Cardinal Foley presided over Mass for us at Salt + Light, while Fr. Lombardi preached.
What really struck me from his homily was this idea that technology has created a smaller world for us -- we can much more easily communicate with people thousands of kilometers away. But behind the technology -- behind the television productions, behind the web sites, the information and news services -- there are many people. Real, tangible, faith-filled people.
Reflecting on today's Gospel (Mark 10:28-31), in which our Lord speaks of the blessings that will be received by those who leave family and home to follow Jesus, Father Lombardi shared that in working in the world of communications he has been blessed a "hundredfold"! He has gained many brothers and sisters, and many friends -- from Rome, to Toronto; he has been connected to more people than he had ever imagined!
It was an important reminder of how the world of communications can draw us together, of how it opens up the world, and how for Catholics, through Catholic media we can experience the universality of the Church.
Though many kilometers separate a journalist from a web designer, or a photographer from a television producer, we are all united in our mission of communicating the Gospel. As hundreds of media professionals check into local hotels today for the Catholic Media Convention, it will be interesting to see how the universality of the Church is showcased in Toronto over the next three days.