Social media as tool for spreading the gospel
Use social media to evangelize.
This was the challenge posed by Bishop Robert Barron of Los Angeles, USA, in response to the growing number of Catholics who either stopped going to Mass or converted to other religions.
“What an extraordinary tool you are given with the new media. If we don’t use that, I think we are missing an extraordinary technology,” he said in a press conference during the third day of the 51st International Eucharistic Congress (IEC).
Barron is the founder of the Word on Fire Catholic Ministries, a global media ministry which aims to draw people into or back to the Catholic Faith.
In introducing Jesus Christ to the world, he said one needs to “prepare with all seriousness.”
“If you put something on YouTube or Facebook, that’s 24/7 all over the world. (But) have something substantial. You have to read, read and read the books of (Saints) Augustine, Aquinas, John Henry Newman and John Paul II,” he said.
In the Western part of the world, Barron said 70 percent of Catholics are staying away from mass.
“It will be silly not to take advantage of this extraordinary gift we’ve been given,” he said.
Baron said Filipinos have done something special in catechizing several people in the world.
With the love of the Eucharist and the deeply-rooted faith in the Church exhibited by the Filipinos, Barron hinted at the Filipinos’ newfound role as vanguards against secularism in other countries.
Filipinos, who, despite the lack of faith that prevails in society, continue to go to Church and celebrate the Mass, may aid in the massive attrition experienced in churches globally.
He said the Philippines reminds him of Ireland, which years ago, had a vibrant Catholic faith.
“Ireland sent missionaries to many countries. I think the Philippines is playing that role now. In the US, the Filipino community is keeping our parishes going,” he said.
In a talk in Manila prior to the IEC, attended by over 6,000 Filipinos, Rev. Barron said that he felt the enthusiasm and energy of the people in the crowd.
Bishop Barron also drew applause from the crowd when he commented on the hospitality of the Filipinos upon his arrival in the Philippines two weeks ago.
Yesterday morning, Barron shared his reflections about the “Eucharist: Celebration of the Paschal Mystery” to about 15,000 delegates gathered at the IEC Pavilion in Cebu City.
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