At sign of white smoke, Catholics urged to ‘rally for the pope’
By Wayne Laugesen
When the white smoke emerges from the Sistine Chapel, indicating the election of the next pope, at least one local man hopes people will rally in the streets of cities in the United States and around the globe to show their support. In doing so, he believes the faithful can help the new pope and the Church to make the world a better, less painful place.
“We want the world to see the joy Catholics have for supporting the new pope,” said Seth DeMoor, a professional video producer who is founder and president of OneBillionStories.com and RallyForThePope.com websites. “That support may mean singing songs, waving banners and having people say a few words. It’s about coming together, seeing each other’s faces and showing the world our joy and support.”
DeMoor is no stranger to bringing Catholics together. OneBillionStories.com, founded in March 2009, is all about getting the world’s Catholics to share their stories of faith via smart phones, tablets and laptops so they can send video witnesses of faith that are shared on his nonprofit site.
“Catholics need to bring their faith to the public square, and this forthcoming election of a new pope is a unique ability to do so around a positive event,” DeMoor said. “We’re hoping for thousands at these rallies, composed of young and old alike.”
It’s unique, DeMoor explained, because for the past 600 years the elections of popes have always followed the deaths of popes. The resignation takes much of the sadness out of this forthcoming election.
“With the death of a pope, there is a mourning time and it’s usually unexpected,” DeMoor said. “With the resignation of Pope Benedict XVI, it’s truly a unique moment in history that most of us may never see again. All the world is looking toward Rome and we have this planned opportunity to show support for whoever the Holy Spirit chooses, and we can do so with true joy and charity.”
DeMoor hopes the rallies will give various forms of media the opportunity to interview Catholics in the public square.
It’s also a unique time because humans have never, in the history of the Church, been better connected than they are today. Even for the election of Pope Benedict XVI, less than eight years ago, humans did not communicate with Twitter and most other social networking sites that today are commonly used today by billions.
DeMoor has created the Twitter hash tag “#rallyforthe pope.” A hash tag enables Twitter users to communicate with one another, about any given subject of interest, by including the hash tag in the message. Others interested in the topic can simply direct their browsers to feed all messages to them that include the tag.
The Denver rally will be at the state Capitol building from 4:30 p.m.-5:30 p.m. after a pope is elected. If white smoke emerges at or after 4:30 p.m.—unlikely given that Rome is eight hours ahead of Denver—the rally will be at 4:30 p.m. the following day.
“God willing, this could become a global event,” DeMoor said. “But we need people to communicate and organize rallies using the hash tag.”
DeMoor began devoting his life to rallying Catholics around their faith while attending the University of Colorado-Boulder, where he was inspired by two priests at St. Thomas Aquinas Parish on University Hill.
“In college, I realized that a lot of people in the United States and around the world, from all walks of life, are hurting and broken in many ways,” DeMoor said. “The Catholic faith is rooted entirely in Jesus Christ, and through tradition and sacraments the Church has the ability to alleviate much of the pain that’s felt throughout the world. So I began wanting to re-propose the Church and the Catholic faith to the many who have fallen away from them.
“If they give the faith a chance, they can be healed and their lives can be transformed forever.”
For more information, visit www.RallyForThePope.com.