Saturday, May 23, 2009

Just a click away!

Allow me to share this piece below in celebration of World Communications Day…

Early this year, YouTube launched a channel dedicated exclusively to videos from more than 100 schools that have set up official channels on the site.

The site gathers thousands of lectures from over a hundred universities across the United States and offers them online for free. This rich collection gives one access to lectures by professors and world-renowned thought leaders, new research and campus tours.

Quite recently, I heard of a diocese in the United States tapping Facebook to increase priestly vocation.

Yes, the world is becoming 'techi-er' these days. But we don't have to look far, in our very own context, you'll find out that some Salesians are taking it upon themselves to tap the world wide web in order to connect to the greater part of the world.

Let me give you some examples:

If you have not heard the website named "Pan de la Semana," you seem to be missing a lot. Run by Fr. Chito Dimaranan, SDB, this blog features Sunday liturgy reflections which took off as early as 2007. Fr. Chito started writing his reflections way back 2002 which he would send via group e-mailing lists and personal e-mail addresses to several hundred initially.

This blog engages its readers to the meaning of the Word of God and draws its profound meaning to everyday life. The flair, nay, passion for writing of Fr. Chito engages the readers to look deeper into the meaning of the readings of the Sunday liturgy which, true to its name, nourishes us both intellectually and spiritually.

On the other hand, Fr. Duds Hila's "Kiliti ng Diyos" caters to a younger audience. His belief that "the Word of God is dynamic, full of life, challenging, life changing" propelled him to start a blog which he could use as a venue to connect with young people.

Initially, he attached his Sunday liturgy reflections to his Friendster, and later on, Multiply accounts. Realizing the need to reach more readers, he thought of looking for "a more serious site" in which he could also integrate useful catechetical inputs. Hence, the idea of "Kiliti ng Diyos" came into fruition.

If we are serious about the business of saving souls, we should be more enterprising to carry it out. But in this day and age of information technology, we are not expected to launch a number of missionary expeditions in order to evangelize. We could carry out the 'mission' right in front of our computers and a little dose of creativity and the passion to reach out to a greater audience in order to evangelize.

Our advocacy to preach the Good News using this medium that the younger generation tend to love should always push us to always be on the look for the new frontier to communicate. After all, the web is the place where most young people get their information and a primary means by which they communicate.

The late Pope John Paul II has said it beautifully as he challenged us to "summon bravely to cross this new threshold, to put out into the deep of the Net."

The new frontier is not out of our reach. It is just a click away!