Delivering the Day´s Good News by E-mail
Interview with Founder of "Daily Gospel" Internet Service
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Having several hundreds of subscribers, it has already been supported by the Pontifical Council for Social Communications and by the Liturgical Episcopal Association for French-speaking countries (AELF).
ZENIT met its founder, Grégor Puppinck, member of the board of the Center for Law and Justice International and director of the French Center for Justice and Fundamental Human Rights.
Q: You launched the "Daily Gospel" service six months ago. What is your objective?
Puppinck: Our objective is to contribute to the permanent diversification and updating of the tools and the methods of evangelization. For 2,000 years, Christians have been using all possible means of communication in order to "make disciples of all nations."
The electronic mail has become a major vector of communication, and it seems to us perfectly adapted to the diffusion of the Gospel.
More particularly, the idea came to me at the end of the ´90s, when I met a Russian who each day rented an advertising space in a Russian neo-Communist newspaper in order to publish a portion of the Gospel!
It triggered something in my mind. I understood that it was not essential to create a specific means of communication to spread the Gospel, but that it would be very effective to be present in the different, important media through which information is transmitted to a large public, thus touching people where they are and making their path easier.
As part of this urban and hurried generation, which spends its days in front of the computer, it seemed obvious to me that electronic mail is the ideal means to spread the Gospel.
Q: You are proposing a real a la carte service.
Puppinck: Yes, indeed, we are very attentive to the needs of our subscribers.
It is not necessary to say that the "Daily Gospel" service is totally free and confidential. We do not ask anything from our subscribers, apart from their electronic address, and we refuse any kind of publicity. The Gospel is not a support for advertising.
Each subscriber runs his own "subscriber profile" online, on Web site http://www.dailygospel.org. Concerned about the discretion our subscribers would like us to respect in their professional environment, we offer to them the possibility to choose the title of the e-mails they will receive. For instance, some have chosen "Urgent Business" or "Expertise Report."
Each subscriber can choose to receive the Gospel every day of the week, or only on Sundays and calendar feasts, together with the calendar of saints, and soon, Psalms and other readings.
Q: What are your development plans?
Puppinck: First of all, in terms of contents, we want to remain fundamentally "Catholic." This supposes that the contents we propose is undebatable, which has already granted us the support of the Pontifical Council for Social Communications and the Liturgical Episcopal Association for French-speaking countries (AELF).
In addition to the Gospel of the day, we will be offering the possibility to receive the text of the Psalms, readings, and the life story of the saint of the calendar, and perhaps a comment on the Gospel according to the Doctors of the Church.
However, our main effort of development is without question the multiplication of the languages in which the service is proposed. We have already put the French version online [www.levangileauquotidien.org], and the Portuguese version [www.evangelhoquotidiano.org] and we are preparing to issue the Italian and Spanish versions.
We are already considering the Arabic version, and the Russian and the Chinese versions! However, this supposes material means and hardware which we do not have at all yet.
Q: How do you function in practice?
Puppinck: The "Daily Gospel" is composed of a team of volunteers. Originally, there was Bertrand Couderc, computer analyst, Geoffroy Pozzo de Borgo, communications adviser, and myself.
We had known one another for a long time, and had been leaders, successively, in the same Scouts troop. Since then, we have welcomed Blandine Jacobin, adviser and translator, Sébastien Delprat, graphist, and Horacio Lopes de Fatima and José Vitor Adragao, from Lisbon, who are in charge more specifically of the Portuguese version.
Until now, we really can say that this project has been carried by Providence. Consequently, we do not have concerns about its development and continuity: It doesn´t belong to us, but we accept every possible help!
Today, we have reached a first limit: the management and development of the "Daily Gospel," in all the linguistic versions. It demands availability and financing that we won´t be able to meet soon, though, we are progressing in an empirical way, trusting in Providence, who gives us, when necessary, the human and material means we need.
We are aware that we are contributing in a concrete way, to the spreading of the Gospel among a growing number of people, creating a new tool of evangelization that will survive!