Archive for Fran Rossi Szpylczyn

Dating God Podcast #21 — Fran Rossi Szpylczyn Returns to Podcast!

Posted in Advent, Dating God Podcast with tags , , , , on December 22, 2012 by Daniel P. Horan, OFM

337459_378656508873622_76686740_oThis episode of the Dating God Podcast is the last of the Calendar Year 2012. Just a few days before Christmas, Fran Rossi Szpylczyn, who had previously been a guest on the podcast back in 2011, returns to talk about her social media ministry and her contributions to a new book titled, Hungry, And You Fed Me: Homilies and Reflections for Cycle C. You can find more information about the book and how to order it by Be sure to visit Fran’s Albany Times-Union blog: as well as her parish ministries at and

Listen to the podcast online (streaming)

Subscribe to the podcast on iTunes (iTunes website)

Photo: Mickey McGrath, OSFS

Dating God Podcast #12: Fran Rossi Szpylczyn on Catholic Social Media

Posted in Dating God Podcast with tags , , , , , , , , , on September 29, 2011 by Daniel P. Horan, OFM

In this episode of the Dating God Podcast we are joined by (1) Fran Rossi Szpylczyn, a full-time Catholic-Church employee at the Church of the Immaculate Conception just outside Albany, NY. An avid promoter and networker within the Catholic social media and Internet communities, Fran shares with us some of her experience and perspectives on Catholic Ministry in the Digital Age.  We are also joined by (2) Mark Meade of Bellarmine University who talks with us about his work in helping to abolish the death penalty in Kentucky and across the nation in the wake of Troy Davis’s execution in Georgia. We welcome your comments, questions and suggestions at

Here’s the link for streaming audio:

Here’s the link for iTunes: Subscribe on iTunes!

For more information on organizations working to abolish the death penalty, visit

Death Penalty Information Center:
Catholic Mobilizing Network (against the Death Penalty):
Amnesty International:

Photo: Social Media Revolutions

Journeying in the Blogosphere: A Pilgrimage of Faith and Friendship

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , on February 5, 2011 by Daniel P. Horan, OFM

I have been incredibly impressed by the number of personal connections that have been made in response to this blog and the various social media that I have been engaging in recent months. Dating God went public only a few months ago, after which my reluctant embrace of Twitter ensued.

What has been so pleasantly surprising is that as the number of readers has increased, so too the number of personal connections have followed suit. Some of these connections have gone from the temporal to the virtual (I’ve known some people in ‘real life’ and then connected with them online), but many more relationships have been forged in recent weeks and months virtually only to be carried over into the terrestrial sphere (folks connected online and then met in person).

This morning one of these latter experiences occurred. One of the first and most generous supporters of my online work was Fran Rossi Szpylczyn, a parish minister in the diocese of Albany and an avid blogger (visit her Personal Blog here and the blog she runs for her Parish here). We met up for coffee and conversation this morning and it was delightful to meet someone previously known virtually, as I like to say, in “real time.” Fran had this morning posted a very generous and kind blog entry about me following her recommendation of a fine article about digital ministry in the local diocesan paper (you can read about both here: Parish Blog or here: Personal Blog).

Fran is by no means the only person with whom I’ve had this sort of experience recently. Just last week I met Paul Snatchko, the director of marketing and communications for the renowned Catholic publication Magnificat, perhaps the leading source for daily readings, prayer and reflections in print. He had heard about me through the internet, thanks to mutual friends such as Fran, and decided – along with two of his friends from NYC – to come to my lecture on Thomas Merton and St. Francis on the Upper West Side. It was great to meet him. He blogs at Between The ‘Burgh and The City’ (He’s originally from Pittsburgh and now lives in NYC since graduating NYU).

There is also the recent case of Jamie Arpin-Ricci, the author of two books and an award-winning blogger who can be read at A Living Alternative: Our Missional Pilgrimage. Though we have not met in person, he lives in Canada, we have connected through the use of social media – something that Jamie is very good at using and I am continuing to learn. He recently interviewed me and posted the conversation online here: He is someone who is indeed doing wonderful ministry, along with his wife and others, following in the footprints of Francis of Assisi and inspired by the Italian Saint’s life and example.

There is also a reverse case of an in-person relationship made virtual. My friend Fr. Tim Heines, a doctoral student at the Catholic University of America, with whom I was a classmate in two graduate courses at CUA now a few years back, keeps a blog (Heine’s Site: Or, The Taming of the Shrewd) in order to share his daily and weekly homilies, while also remaining connected to his family, friends and former parishioners back in Texas (yes, he’s from Texas). Not that long ago Tim also posted a very kind (if at times silly, especially the photo) blog entry about me and my recent blogging adventures:

I continue to be impressed by the connections that have been made or renewed in their new relational form by way of the so-called blogosphere. Sharing my view on matters of faith, culture and politics has really connected me with people I would never have met otherwise. For that I am very grateful. I look forward to these relationships continuing and enthusiastically anticipate the new connections that will be made on this digital pilgrimage.

For those who continue to doubt the efficacious quality of social media for ministry and outreach, trust me — a former cynic and reluctant bystander — there is something very valuable, very personal and quite ministerial about meeting people where they are. If at first electronically, then later in-person.

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