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By Fr. Alfred Maravilla SDB
General Councillor for Missions

       RMG, 09 November 2022 -- “The social media has allowed people to stay connected globally, empower each of us to update each other what is happening in our lives, share powerful ideas, and invite people to know Jesus Christ. It is also true that the social media could in some way hinder authentic interpersonal relationships. These could be used as a platform to distribution and access to materials that could cause moral, social and spiritual harm. Nevertheless, the social media have become our virtual courtyard. Therefore, it is important that we move from demonising the medium, to educating young people to its proper use and to developing its potentials to evangelise.

       “In order to communicate Christ today through the social media it is necessary to connect to the mindset of the Millenials and the Generation Z. Credible witness is an important condition for communicating Christ. In the virtual world, witness implies visibility (we visibly manifest our Catholic identity), truth (we ensure that we are bearers of the truth and not of fake news) and credibility (the images we present reinforce the message we want to communicate). Faith needs to be presented to millennials and to the Generation Z in new and engaging ways. This, in turn, will open possibilities for them to share their faith with their peers.

       “Initial proclamation is not about Christian doctrines to be taught. It is about fostering an overwhelming and exhilarating experience which is capable of stirring up the desire to search the truth and an interest in the person of Jesus. This, ultimately, leads to an initial adhesion to Him, or the revitalisation of faith in Him. Initial proclamation is that spark that leads to conversion. It is then followed by the process of evangelisation through catechumenate and systematic catechesis. Without initial proclamation that brings about a personal option for Christ, any effort to evangelise will be sterile. Initial proclamation is the foundation for a new evangelisation.

       “Thus, the challenge for every Salesian pastor-educator, for every youth minister, is not making content for the social media but to train and accompany millennials and Generation Z themselves so that they can create faith-based content for themselves and their peers on the social media that can stir interest in knowing the person of Jesus Christ. Indeed, today the social media is a privileged forum to communicate Christ to young people. It is up to each of us to use it with missionary creativity!”


 

 

 

 

 

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  • vaclav 2022.11.13 01:18

    H.E. Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle, Papal Envoy to the Conference and Pro-Prefect of the Dicastery for Evangelization, spoke on the emerging context of young people today, the changing landscape of social media and artificial intelligence, and its impact on evangelisation. Highlighting how social media has changed the self-identity of youth, their feelings of belonging and empathy for others, how the speed and limits of the medium impact their ability to infer, critically analyse and empathise, the importance of deep reading, and the danger of digital crimes and the monopoly of media by businesses, H.E. Cardinal Tagle described social media as not only a means for connectedness, but a powerful tool creating a new humanity. Illustrating social media and digital communication as a world in itself that follows its own rules, H.E. Cardinal Tagle concluded with, ‘social media is a world that needs evangelisation’


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