Finding faith online

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Usually when there is a story about the internet, it’s all doom and gloom. Sites and people, you need to protect your kids from, things to look out for, and apps that can be problematic. But there is still good news on the internet, and there are still people and places posting safe and enjoyable content.

The Archdiocese of Sydney’s own Instagram page is one such place. @Sydarchdiocese is dedicated to bringing the Catholic community of Sydney a range of content to please anyone who follows.

A “Did you know?” meme from the Catholic Archdiocese of Sydney’s Instagram page

Posting a variety of pictures including bible verses, inspirational quotes, a “Did you know?” series and latest news updates from The Catholic Weekly, the page aims to bring something for everyone.

Drawing inspiration from Sydney’s own ‘Meme Bishop,’ Auxiliary Bishop Richard Umbers, the Archdiocese page has begun to show its quirky side, sharing memes and cartoons to bring a laugh to your day

For theological buffs, Bishop Umbers page @bishopumbers is the place to go.

Affectionately known as the Meme Bishop to his followers, Bishop Umbers has found a unique way of connecting with a younger audience, introducing them to a deeper understanding of the church through memes and jokes online.

A meme posted to Instagram by the “Meme Bishop,” Bishop Umbers.

Bishop Umbers has garnered an international following with fans all around the globe seeing his posts on a daily basis.

One of those fans, and a page to follow for more traditional Catholic’s is @catholic_teen_posts, a Catholic page with nearly 100 thousand followers, run by 21-year-old ‘Trad Cat’ Cailin in Texas, USA.

Cailin started the page after her Confirmation at just 14 years old, following a growing desire to reach other Catholics that began at her First Communion when she was eight.

“Living in the Bible Belt where the number of Baptist’s far outnumbered the Catholic’s, I found it hard to find and make friends who shared my faith,” said Cailin.

“I didn’t expect anyone to follow me but that’s not why I started my page. I’ve never been about follower count; it’s always been about reaching souls with the love and truth of Christ.”

“I’ve never been about follower count; it’s always been about reaching souls with the love and truth of Christ.”

Since beginning her page, Cailin has actively sought to deepen her faith and her understanding of Catholicism. She quickly developed a network of like-minded people and apologists who she would regularly debate philosophy and theology with.

“They gave me suggestions on books and materials as well so by 15 I was reading St Augustine’s Confessions and by 17 I had gone through Aquinas, Archbishop Fulton Sheen, Chesterton, Lewis, the early church fathers, Socrates, and more.”

Cailin’s content on Catholic Teen Posts has helped her reach nearly 100 thousand followers.

Cailin has gone to great lengths to ensure that her content is helpful, engaging and in line with Catholic teaching, and has shared her images with many Catholic pages around the world, including the Sydney Archdiocese page.

Cailin uses her knowledge and natural social media savvy to share the message of the Church and to talk with people who come to her page wanting to know more. Unfortunately though, with the good comes the bad, and she has been subjected to online abuse and harassment from people attempting to bully her into closing her page.

“I’ve been cursed by a ‘warlock’, received more than 20 thousand messages in two weeks from LGBT activists and regularly receive death threats and death wishes,” Cailin explained. “I just remind myself that the world hated Jesus first and these are hurting and misguided souls who aren’t hating me personally but Christ.”

“I pray for them and myself, sometimes have a good cry, pray the rosary and keep going.

“I pray for them and myself, sometimes have a good cry, pray the rosary and keep going.”

Cailin of Catholic Teen Posts is now 21, she started her page at just 14-years-old.

“I think God gives us the time we need to do the tasks He’s assigned us.” She says. “My advice to young people reading this article is this: remember Jesus has already won and He loves you.”

To follow the Archdiocese of Sydney, Bishop Umbers or Catholic Teen Posts on Instagram just search @Catholic_teen_posts, @bishopumbers or @sydarchdiocese.