Rabboni Francis “Bong” Arjonillo, a member of the CFC International Council and creator of the “Only By Grace” video series on YouTube, referred to CFC as God’s mouthpiece during the first Digital Summit held on June 15, 2022 at the MOA SMX in Pasay City.
He said, “For the past 41 years, God has spoken to our community, and if we are faithful to our covenant with God, He will continue to use us.”
He cited the late Nina Ponte’s prophesy that CFC would carry out rapid, massive evangelization, which eventually came to fruition, as well as the IC’s discernment about the need for healing of families, which led to this year’s CFC theme of “Christ Heals”. Arjonillo then played a video of himself speaking at the Mission Core Assembly in July 2019, wherein he emphasized that CFC should “prepare for the culture of the future” in order to “stay relevant in the next twenty years.”
Citing a study that predicted that Islam would overtake Catholicism as the biggest religion in the world by 2050, he warned that children are starting to forget God.
“The technology outburst has sparked a culture completely different from that of our own generation,” he added. Most parents are digital immigrants, meaning they grew up before the emergence of digital technology and so have to adapt and learn it. In contrast, their children are digital natives, born and raised into the technology.
Referring to Romans 10:11, 13-14, he said, “The way people communicate has changed, and so we need to evangelize in a different way. The new evangelization requires new equipment in a new battleground: social media.” He added, “We are in a deep spiritual battle, and the old methods may not work anymore: new wine should be poured into fresh wineskins.” (Matthew 9:17) Despite advancing in years, CFC will continue to be relevant if it continues to learn and adapt. Because of the pandemic, however, the adaptation process has been hastened.
According to Arjonillo, Christ’s mandate to the faithful is to proclaim the Good News and make disciples of all men. To do this, Catholics need to FOLLOW and LIKE the truth, as a way of showing encouragement and support, and SHARE the beautiful and good, especially CFC posts and pages, to both CFC and non-CFC. He also urged viewers to not skip the ads in CFC content so as to help the community generate income from these ads.
The Internet is the new battleground, said Arjonillo, one that Pope Francis described as offering “immense possibilities for encounter and solidarity.” He added, “We need to engage to keep our children from abandoning our faith. Our role, is to ensure there is goodness and holiness in social media. By providing inspiring and motivational content in this platform, we can help heal the world for Christ.” (Richie Panganiban-Tolentino)