When you picture world missions, what do you imagine? Most of us might think of a remote village, building projects, and catechism lessons in one-room schoolhouses. Modern American life is disconnected on multiple levels from the everyday life of a foreign missionary. This World Mission Month, the team at Missio is trying to bridge that gap in an innovative way: a Papal ChatBot.
When need is global, donors on the other side of the world can easily be disconnected to the concrete needs of specific communities. Since 1926, the Pope has dedicated one Sunday as World Mission Sunday to raise awareness and funding for the charitable works of the Catholic Church across the globe. Missio is a crowdfunding platform supporting projects vetted by the Pontifical Mission Societies.
Missio brings Pope Francis’ missionary invitation directly to anyone with a Facebook account. They’ve programmed a ChatBot to operate through Facebook messenger. Once a conversation is started, users can discover the stories behind global Catholic NGOs, hear some papal wisdom, connect to donate and more. The “MissioBot” or “PopeBot” introduces donors to real missionaries and the need in their community. For those who’d like to use the ChatBot with young people in the classroom or in a smaller group setting, Missio has released a kit with tools and tips for ministers and educators.
To get started chatting with the Pope yourself, visit www.chatwiththepope.org.