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On the Road to New Media Evangelization

Gerlie Alcoriza (right) interviewing His Excellency Bishop Rey Evangelista of the Diocese of Imus

 

“SWEETHEART, I think we need to have an official page for CFC Batangas. What do you think?” Jacky, my husband, asked me one afternoon while we were driving back home after attending a CFC event. 


Oo nga kasi marami tayong pwedeng ma-reach, ma-inspire at ma-attract kung mado-document natin ng maayos at mapo-promote online ang mga events ng CFC dito sa atin,” I replied. 


We  had  long  been  discussing  about our local community’s online presence. We felt there was a need to have an official  page,  at least on  Facebook,  and really  use  it  for  evangelization.  There are so many people who spend a lot of time in the digital world who may not have heard about Couples for Christ, or at  least  have encountered  something inspiring  that  could  somehow impact their  lives.  Though  we  recognize  the value of maximizing social networking for evangelization, we were clueless on how we can get started and set one up for our local community. As a regular CFC member who just transitioned from Singles for Christ, we felt we don’t have any “right” to initiate or suggest to our leaders to explore other means of evangelization like the internet.


But God must have heard our conversation. A few weeks after, we received a call from the CFC provincial mission center and we were told that we were being endorsed to attend the New Media Evangelization Training at the CFC Global Mission Center in Quezon City.


It was such a blessing to have attended the two-day intensive training on new media  evangelization.  We  gained  so many helpful insights  from  seasoned media practitioners from varied Catholic media organizations which we took back home to our province. We realized that truly, the digital highway is a street abounding  with people  who  are  often hurting, suffering. Social media is full of men and women looking for hope and by means of the internet, helpful Christian content can easily reach them and the rest of the world. New media is such a powerful tool where we can establish connections,  relationships  and  build communion.


All these learnings will be put to waste if we didn’t apply it to our local CFC community. And so, days after the training, we prepared a report and recommendation and submitted this to our Provincial Mission Center for their review. We suggested that we create official CFC Batangas accounts on known social media sites and start the creation of our own website.


It was during our provincial conference and First Fruits festival when we officially dedicated  a  documentation  team  to  do real-time posting  and  updating  of  the event in our page. Aside from the usual photos and videos, we also captured the important and striking messages of the speakers, sharers and even prayers uttered by our leaders and shared them online. 


That day, we were able to garner more than 18,000 organic post reach and thousands of post engagements via shares and likes.  We were  really  happy  to  see  that even  non-CFC  members  shared, liked and  interacted  with  our  posts.  Truly, social media sites like Facebook is such a  great  instrument  that  we  can  use  to reach other  people  and  provide  them online encounter with our community. We never realized how our simple posts can draw and encourage more people to join communities like CFC. 


Certainly,  in  a  digital  world  where paralyzing  atrocities,  fake news  and negativities abound, pages like ours can be a gateway of hope, of love, of caring. Using social media could be an easy way to share to the world our values, our stand, and  those  that  we believe  in.  Just  like what our dear Pope Francis once tweeted, to evangelize is to give witness with joy and simplicity to what we are and what we believe.


Our WACOM Experience: A Taste of the Mainstream

Due  to  our  involvement  in  the  New Media Evangelization training, we were tapped  to  help  cover  the  3rdday  of  the 4th World Apostolic Congress on Mercy (WACOM)  held  at  the  National Shrine and Parish of Santo Padre Pio, Sto. Tomas, Batangas. 


It  was  an  honor  for  us  to  be  sharing tables  with  known journalists  from various media organizations. More than serving and giving the best we could to be able to contribute in data gathering, the experience became more of an on-the-job training for our humble team. 


More than becoming part of the media team,  we  felt  very  blessed to have  witnessed thousands of people from all over the world gather together for one great reason—praying  together  and  for one another and  lining  up  at  confessionals availing  the sacrament  of  penance and reconciliation.  Through  the  talks and personal testimonies, and the mere sight of the thousands of Divine mercy devotees, we were affirmed that the Catholic Church is indeed a forgiven and forgiving community that celebrates God’s mercy. 


The WACOM, having been held in the Philippines, was so rightfully perfect for the eyes of the world were drawn to us, especially with the extrajudicial killings happening  in  the  country. WACOM brought Filipino Catholics hope that in spite of everything that is happening, we can find comfort in the thought that we have a merciful God whose love and compassion for each one of us, whether sinner or saint, never ends. (Gerlie Alcoriza, CFC Archdiocese of Lipa)

Added on Tuesday, February 21, 2017



 

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