Part of the New Evangelization is not only re-spreading the Gospel in lands that have allowed the Faith to weaken and even die, but also to use all the means of communication and technology to do so in the best way possible. Our own modest participation in the New Evangelization is sharing our cloistered lives with the outside world through a kind of “one way gate” in the digital domain. We share our life of prayer with the world without letting the world into the cloister. Our gate is our Communications Director, Deacon Scott Maentz. Since he was recently ordained to the permanent diaconate he can not only set up, install, repair, and upgrade our computer equipment, he can even “make” the Holy Water and bless the items as well. Deacon Scott and his wife Christine are dedicated to serving the poor in many ways such as the Bridge Ministry in Knoxville, begun at Christine’s urging when witnessing the homeless gathering under the bridge in the winter. What began with a simple sandwich is now inspiring many others to look twice for ways to help the poor. So it’s natural that Deacon Scott would also keep a wary eye out for his nuns’ ability to pinch pennies in living out our vows of poverty…such as the best set up for computer needs and a communication system we can afford but that keeps us enclosed.
For example, rather than replace old laptops wholesale, he searched for the best deals on hard drives and memory and then did some “surgery” to extend their lives at a reduced cost. He analyzed our requirements to be able to put content on the website, communicate for administrative and business needs, and enable him to share our life in social media. Deacon Scott found another, more economical, system and he blessed and installed it in one day at the monastery. All in a day’s work for the Handmaids!