Face to Faith Online

Building global citizenship through Face to Faith Online
By: Nick Hom ’18

Photo Credit: Ms. Lori Saltveit
Photo Credit: Mrs. Lori Saltveit

Since winter break ended, the freshmen have started their month-long course involving the Face to Faith website. Former British Prime Minister, Tony Blair, created the social media website to help link together high schoolers and their views of religious feuds, extremism, and other differences and similarities regarding culture.

An open mind is encouraged and is usually necessary on this website as the topics conversed can be very sensitive to some people. The program has connected more than 120,000 students from more than 20 countries across the world. Blair created the website in 2008 to address the emergence of social media into the world of the modern teenager. By creating a website that can connect the future generations, opportunities arise to stop or negate prospective conflicts in our world. The site utilizes a blog-like system where students can post ideas or comments about social situations or conflicts that could be viewed from many angles. Students from other schools can comment on each others’ posts, and can submit their own under the same thread. The system encourages longer conversations so as to develop familiarity with other worldly views.

As a part of the freshman Theology 1 curriculum led by Mrs. Saltveit, Mr. Campos and Mr. Downs, the first conversations in which we have engaged have been on the topic of community – what makes our community unique? Our guidelines were to write as much as we think is right and to accept other world views. Ms. Saltveit thinks that, “it helps students have a better understanding of the larger world because they are actually interacting face to face.” Through the month, we will try to build better relationships. In past years, some classes have actually video-chatted with schools from the other side of the world. This year, it is likely that we will get to video chat with a boys’ government school in Pakistan.

The Sacred Heart Schools in San Francisco have adopted the program as part of our own, with both high schools already participating and the middle schools soon to join. We are using it productively to expand each student’s perspective about major social events and situations. The Face to Faith Online program is a great resource that we can all use to live out the goals of the Sacred Heart.