DIGITAL COMMUNICATIONS: An Effective Tool in New Evangelization.
In the past 10 years, we have seen a big shift and great advances in communications. Today, we have a combination of smartphones. internet sites, social media such as Facebook, Twitter, Face Time, etc that bring us up to the minute news. But do we One of the more interesting questions being asked by the Catholic Church and our leaders in Couples for Christ is, “What does the New Evangelization look like in this world of modern communications? ”realize how these devices are changing HOW we communicate? To answer the question, we can break down the answer into two areas in the context of CFC:
1. Sharing our activities/events throughout our global CFC Community; and
2. Building a culture of innovation with digital communications. Sharing our activities/events throughout our global CFC Community We in CFC make it a point to share what is happening in our “neck of the woods” so to speak in order to spread awareness about our CFC Community across the world.
We do this by identifying three content areas that answer different audience needs: a) CFC On Fire, b) Spreading God’s Word, and c) Uplifting The Poor. Since we are in a 24/7 nonstop news cycle, we cannot afford to allow critically precious hours or days to slip by without sharing our events/ actions. This also requires us to increase our efforts in social media, as increasingly people no longer look to traditional information gatekeepers as they did in the past, considering the access that everyone has via the worldwide web. CFC USA together with Europe, Middle East and Manila through the Ugnayan are forming an alliance to deploy monthly newsletters, and up to the minute Facebook and Twitter integration that will allow us to share information among ourselves and with the rest of the world. Also, we are taking up the call of the New Evangelization with a renewed focus on resources that offer both solid teachings and tender encouragement that focus on marriage and family life. Building a culture of innovation with Digital Communications, who knew that our CFC community will adapt to iPads and other gadgets, as well as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and other social network platforms? Therefore, we cannot just be like sitting ducks, waiting for everyone to adapt to technology.
Therefore, we need to think out of the box and embrace a CFC Culture of innovation and experimentation in communications. Matthew 28:19 says, “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.” But how do we make disciples of all nations? The evangelization strategy used 33 years for Couples for Christ… Where is CFC? We are called to reflect in silence. We need to ponder on all the things that have transpired for the past 33 years in our beloved community. Luke 2:19, 51 “And Mary kept all these things in her heart… pondered them in her heart.” It is the 3rd year of our journey with Mary and this time, she is leading us to contemplate where the heart of CFC is at this point. In today’s world, we make use of digital technology to spread the word of God. Without walking from town to town, we can reach people from around the globe.
One way of CFC showing our work of reaching the world is through the use of tools like Facebook and Twitter and via e-mailing newsletters, which has a reach of 1.2 million. For instance, the CFC USA e-newsletter has an RSS feed of the daily Mass readings and Vatican media releases, and highlights the daily work ANCOP. Sharing these to our own networks allow our friends to share the materials in their own social networks, thus reaching more. Conclusion However, much still needs to be done. Our new CFC communication alliances have to increase content available to the community through the help of our members. The upbeat digital communication technology is spreading like wildfire across the globe and in our CFC community. This is our chance to bring the Gospel to the ends of the earth, as stated in Mark 16:15-16, “Go into the entire world and proclaim the gospel to the whole creation. Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned.”
And, just as the Church learned how to use the book and film to proclaim the Good News to the ends of the earth, so today we must teach ourselves to learn these new tools to help people find the faith in their ordinary days and in their times of need. To quote from our Holy Father on the World Day of Communication last January: “Word and silence: learning to communicate is learning to listen and contemplate as well as speak. This is especially important for those engaged in the task of evangelization: both silence and word are essential elements, integral to the Church’s work of communication for the sake of a renewed proclamation of Christian today’s world.” Roger Santos is a current member of the CFC USA National Council, Executive Director of ANCOP Foundation USA Inc. and Country Coordinator of Greece. Written by Roger Santos.