BRIDGEPORT—John Grosso, Director of Digital Media of the Diocese of Bridgeport, has been chosen by the Holy See’s Dicastery for Communications to be part of an international digital media program.
Grosso, a native of Stamford, was among sixteen individuals under age thirty-five from a dozen countries across the globe who were chosen to be part of the Vatican project. Since joining the diocese in 2015, he has innovated its social media program across multiple platforms and overseen the transition to live-streamed Masses and other digital initiatives during the pandemic crisis.
Recognizing the vital role of digital media, the dicastery announced “Faith Communication in the Digital World” and invited candidates to apply for the project with the opportunity to sharpen their digital media abilities and develop skills useful for work in Catholic organizations, institutions, congregations and in their local dioceses to better serve the mission of the Church.
“The diocese is very proud that John Grosso has earned this distinction and has been chosen to participate in the Vatican project,” said Bishop Frank J. Caggiano. “Through his efforts we have opened up new evangelization opportunities in the digital media, which will play an increasingly important role in the future of Church communications.”
Bishop Caggiano said that as the Catholic Church seeks to embrace new and effective ways of communication during the COVID-19 pandemic, social media and mobile applications have been utilized as key tools in communicating the Gospel message, particularly to youth and young adults.
Grosso said he was humbled to be selected for the project, and he believes that although social media can be a hostile and difficult environment, it gives the Church the ability to accompany others where they are in their life journey.
“I love the Church. I feel at home in the Church. But my whole life, I’ve watched many of my friends leave it, and I’ve been powerless to stop it. Here in my part of the United States, there is a crisis of trust in the Church, a crisis of belief in the Eucharist, and a crisis of relevancy.
When I hear Pope Francis say ‘go to the margins,’ I think of digital media. Digital media is a way to reach rich and poor, connect young and old, and help orient them towards Jesus and His Church.”
Grosso will join other young professionals in weekly virtual meetings, which include lectures by internationally renowned experts and individual coaching on specific topics related to digital communication and social media. The group will engage in individual and group work assignments throughout the project.
The 12-month program, launched digitally this month, also includes two week-long trips to Rome where the group will gather in person.
Under Grosso’s leadership, the diocese has been the architect of diocesan social media strategy with steadily growing Facebook, Twitter and Instagram accounts. Additionally, more than 50,000 people now receive the diocesan email newsletter, which includes videos from the Bishop and latest news updates. Grosso also created the “DOB Social” website to connect all parishes, schools and organizations to diocesan social media.
Based on his success in Bridgeport, he has been increasingly invited by dioceses across the United States via Zoom meetings and personal appearances to share his knowledge of social media and best practices.
Brief Bio: In addition to his Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from Boston College, John earned a Masters Degree in Corporate Communications and Public Relations at Sacred Heart University in Fairfield. He graduated at the top of his class in August, 2017 with a 4.0 GPA.
Previously, he served as the diocesan coordinator for 2016 World Youth Day in which using social media he organized and formed a group of 240 people to Poland for ten days. John serves on the Advisory Board of two organizations close to his heart: the Murphy Center for Ignatian Spirituality at Fairfield University, and Sister to Sister: All Africa Conference.
John recently married Nicole Perone on April 27th, 2019, in a Mass celebrated by Bishop Frank Caggiano. They are members of St. Aloysius Parish in New Canaan, where they were married.