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Space for Grace

By Staff Report

New Series Helps Families Disconnect from Digital and Reconnect with Each Other

The Diocese of St. Petersburg Office of Communications has launched a new blog and radio series that helps families to become vibrant and healthy by breaking free of technology’s constant pull and digital distraction.

The series is called Making Space for Grace and it’s hosted by Teresa Peterson, Executive Director of Communications for the Diocese of St. Petersburg. The series offer lessons and reflections for navigating our media environment so that it doesn’t harm our faith and family life. The goal is to develop healthy and holy habits so we can focus more on real-life interactions that foster personal, relational and spiritual growth.

The series will be heard each Friday at 11:30 a.m. on Spirit FM 90.5, starting on August 27, 2021. You can also listen, “on demand” by visiting www.MakingSpaceforGrace.org.

A 2021 survey conducted by the McGrath Institute for Church Life revealed that nearly 80% of Catholic parents said they have concerns about their children’s smartphone/social media usage. A 2019 Common Sense Media study reported that 53 percent of children in the U.S. own a smartphone by the age of 11 and 84 percent of teenagers have their own phones with instant access to thousands of apps, the internet, texting and streaming.  Also, 85% of Americans have a smart phone, up from 35% ten years ago, according to Pew Research. These stats reveal that Americans, including children and teens, are becoming more and more impacted by smart phones and the incessant ways these devices demand our attention.

About Teresa Peterson

Teresa Peterson has served as Executive Director of Communications for the Diocese of St. Petersburg since 2017. She served in a similar role in the Diocese of Orlando for 10 years. In her ministry, she oversees website, social media, broadcast and electronic communications. She also assists parishes with enhancing their communication/evangelization efforts.

In 2020, Teresa was selected by Notre Dame University’s McGrath Institute for Church Life to be one of 12 participants nationwide for a grant-funded program to help parishes thrive in the Digital Age. The program explored cultural shifts in the digital environment and effective pastoral strategies.

Teresa has also worked in TV broadcasting and journalism and is the recipient of an Emmy Award. She has knowledge and experience in the areas of writing, video production, design, media relations and web development.

She feels blessed to be able to serve Christ, the Church and the community. Her favorite Scripture quote is Philippians 4:13, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.