Is social media changing religion?

Bishop Joseph Cistone on his Facebook page / Mike Horne

Social media is changing the face of religion.

The Bishop of Saginaw is using it to guide people through the Christian season of Lent.

The bishop, like many other religious leaders are embracing social media and other forms of technology to spread the Word of God to more people in a personal way.

"I would like to offer you some thoughts on prayer and Christian living," said Bishop Joseph Cistone, of the Catholic Diocese of Saginaw.

This Lenten season the Bishop of Saginaw is reaching out through social media.

Its not that I think its cool or faddish, its in the diocese with the geographical area that we have, and I try to get around as much as I can, this helps me in a personal way to get a message across to my people in a closer fashion, said Bishop Cistone.

That message is God's Word, and whether it TMs by Twitter, Facebook, or You Tube, it TMs spreading like wildfire by even the Pope himself.

I think this allows the Holy Father, allows me and other leaders to be that person in an impersonal and imperfect way, but allows the person and the personality to come through, said Bishop Cistone.

Mary Catherine Siers says, lately, Facebook has been her only way of connecting with her faith community.

I have been sick and that's a way for me to keep in touch with what TMs going on, said Siers.

But with all things good, the Bishop says there must be balance.

I have to be careful that it doesn't depersonalize the message because Jesus Christ is a person, and he came on earth to be with us, said Bishop Cistone.

So far, Bishop Cistone's weekly reflections have received more than 3,000 hits, and his Facebook comments have increased 300%.

Sometimes it TMs not the numbers, sometimes it TMs that person, that one person that this message has been a benefit too, and if they have opened their heart to the Lord in a new way, strong way, its been worth it, said Bishop Cistone.

For Siers it certainly has.

It keeps me grounded, it keeps me sane, if I didn't have my faith I don't know what I would do, said Siers.

The weekly reflections by Bishop Cistone are posted every Monday.

You can view them by going to the Diocesan web site.

You can also follow Bishop Cistone on Twitter, and read his blog.

Do you think social media is changing religion?

Do you think social media is a good way to build fellowship and trust in a faith community?

Are there dangers of mixing social media and religion?

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