Bishop Soto on the First Christian Text Message: “IHS”

A little gem from Bishop Soto of Sacramento:

As parents already know, if you want to talk to a teenager, send a text message.

Before he began his homily during the National Catholic Youth Conference’s closing Mass Nov. 21, Bishop Jaime Soto of Sacramento, Calif., pulled out his cell phone.

“Let’s see. You put the message in. Then the number. Then you hit ‘Send,'” he said. Up on the gigantic high-definition screen appeared his message to the 21,000 Catholic teenagers assembled in Kansas City’s Sprint Center: “U R GR8.”

“We are a bilingual group. So there is another message I want to send,” he said, pressing more keys on his phone. “SALU2 a TO2″ (“Saludos a todos, salute to all”) appeared on the screen.

Then he said he would send the original Christian text message: “IHS.” “You should recognize this one,” Bishop Soto said. “It is the oldest text message anywhere. It is the text for the holy name of Jesus.”

New forms of electronic communication are everywhere and being reinvented again rapidly, but God doesn’t care, Bishop Soto said. “God does not buy a new iPhone or get a new app (mobile application). His communication platform is the human person,” he said. [CNS]

That’s just brilliant.



  • Joe of St Therese

    Bp Soto has been a pleasant surprise in Sacramento, may he have many years!

  • Sally

    I’m hoping Soto will be the next Abp of San Fran

  • wtrmute

    Strictly, it’s ΙΗΣ, which is tough to text on an American cell phone (or on an American PC). Over the years, the sigma evolved to look like an S. But it’s a neat concept, I agree. The ancient Greek icons and Latin inscriptions had a lot of abbreviations which can be likened to txt-speak of this SMS and Twitter age.

  • liz

    lol no one actually texts like that. cute though.

  • Linda Gonzalez


  • Ed Peters




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