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`Mustard seed` New Evangelization

Pinoys are real Bishop Barron fans. 

Shot to fame because of his Catholicism series, which was dubbed in Filipino and aired by a major TV network during the Holy Week, Los Angeles Auxiliary Bishop Robert Barron boasts a quarter of a million Filipino followers, not counting those who live abroad. 

Even Word on Fire content director Brandon Vogt shared in a recent podcast how he was “flabbergasted” to learn that “of the roughly 720,000 people who follow [Bishop Barron] on Facebook, 250,000 live in the Philippines” with 117,000 of them or 15-16% of the followers living in Quezon City.

Good News on video

Most of the attendees of January 24's “An Afternoon with Bp. Robert Barron” first heard about the speaker via social media, precisely the venue of the prelate's ministry. 

Beth Melchor, a consecrated virgin and retired professor shared: “I first learned about Bishop Robert Barron from his videos, documentaries and our CFC Teaching night by Mr. Francis Horn, during which he presented films on the talks of Bishop Barron.” 

Jul Nuique, a Theology junior seminarian at San Carlos seminary, is no different, saying, he also learned about Barron from his Catholicism series. Their professor had shown his videos in their theology class. 

Leo Abot, a freshman law student, said he learned about Bishop Barron from his college theology class where his prof required them to watch his videos. When he chose to read the book instead, he found out he couldn't put it down.


Mustard seed

Yet, this rich harvest started from a small mustard seed. In the early 2000s, Bishop Barron, then Fr. Barron, received a sizable donation from a generous donor. Looking for a way to make good use of the gift, he zeroed in on the evangelizing potential of YouTube. At the time, YouTube was a small, new website where people posted funny videos of their family, friends, pets, etc. Barron then started making short videos on current social issues or popular culture from a Catholic perspective. 

Over time, this drew a following from people across various faiths and backgrounds. Admittedly, some of the comments towards his videos were not so positive. Despite such feedback, Barron saw this as boon because it meant he was reaching non-believers as well. 

Today, the author, theologian, documentary host, and popular culture commentator is one of the most followed Catholic personas in Twitterverse, Facebook, and beyondtrailing only the Pope. (Leia Go)

Added on Friday, February 19, 2016


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