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Benefits of a Paper Calendar in the Digital Age

IN AN ERA DOMINATED BY SMARTPHONES AND DIGITAL TECHNOLOGY, the traditional paper calendar may seem like an antiquated relic from a bygone era. In 2011, I officially switched from my five-year calendar/planner, which sat with heavy prominence on my desk, to a digital calendar that automatically syncs with my phone. Admittedly, the digital calendar is much more convenient and efficient, and once I made the move, I had no regrets. Yet, I still miss some of the nuances of using a paper calendar.

One thing I miss about writing an event down is the ability to impress my friends or family by telling them that I’m going to write down our appointment "in ink" — a nod to the importance and value of our upcoming gathering. I also miss the act of flipping through the pages of a physical calendar, as it evokes so many memories and emotions. Esthetically, a paper calendar — especially those that hang on the wall — also provides a wide array of styles to display, like artwork, in our homes and offices.

I am delighted that the Diocese of Joliet has partnered with Catholic Extension to publish a 2024 Anniversary Calendar for our 75th Jubilee. Catholic Extension, since 1905, has been effectively building up and strengthening Catholic faith communities in the United States, especially those in economically disadvantaged or geographically isolated areas. As we mark our 75th anniversary, this calendar beautifully expresses a narrative woven together as a tapestry of a vibrant Catholic Community. It superbly highlights key milestones with historical photographs and anecdotes that chronicle our extraordinary history and evolution. Each month unfolds with an invitation to revisit moments of significance: from the establishment of the diocese to the growth of parishes to the contributions of the clergy, religious, and laity.

This calendar also bridges different generations. It connects those who have witnessed the diocese’s transformative journey with the younger Catholics who may be fascinated to learn about their roots. At the same time, it encapsulates the collective memory of our diocese, fostering a sense of community and shared heritage. Graphically, the calendar allows us to see that the diocese is much larger than only our own parish experience.

Moreover, the calendar serves as a practical guide offering information on liturgical seasons, feast days, and holy days, along with reminding us about special liturgies, ordinations, and events. It also gives us the opportunity to remember former bishops and sets aside a specific date to pray for each of our parishes. By seamlessly integrating the sacred and the secular, our calendar becomes a daily and monthly companion, enhancing our connection to our faith, heritage, and the sense of belonging to God and each other.

Our calendar further highlights the contributions of individuals, movements, and organizations that have shaped and continue to shape our diocese. Through profiles, stories, and brief history lessons, it celebrates all those heroes, both popular and unsung, whose dedication, faith, and service embody the spirit of the Catholic Church in the Diocese of Joliet. The calendar’s inclusion of key events, Masses, service opportunities, and milestones for the upcoming year not only keeps us informed but also invites active participation. It hopefully will inspire and motivate us to come together and contribute our time, talents, and gifts to ensure that our diocese remains strong and alive for generations to come.

These calendars are so beautiful and informative, serving as a keepsake for years to come. I extend my heartfelt gratitude to all the businesses, companies, and service providers who sponsored the 2024 Anniversary Calendar at their local parishes. If you were not able to procure a calendar for yourself, please click this link below to view it electronically:

2024 Anniversary Calendar

Like so many of you, I will continue to use my digital calendar that syncs with my computer and smartphone. However, I also will proudly consult daily our paper calendar as a companion to navigating the folds of time in the digital age. By honoring the past, embracing the present, and hoping for the future, may we continue to pray for each other.

Happy New Year! And with every passing day and each monthly move to the next calendar page, may God bless you and yours.