by Clyde Ericson Nolasco
Dominus Est was blessed to be among the Catholic digital influencers chosen to join the very first Catholic Influencers Festival organized by the Vatican's Dicastery of Communication as one of the events of World Youth Day 2023.
On August 4, digital evangelizers and influencers all over the world, including Dominus Est.ph, gathered at the Cristonauts Park in Martim Moniz Square, Lisbon, Portugal for the Catholic Influencers Festival, the first world encounter of digital evangelizers and missionaries.
Dicastery of Communication
Monsignor Lucio Adrián Ruiz, the Secretary of the Dicastery for Communication, graced the event through his opening words. Msgr. Lucio, on behalf of Pope Francis, thanked the digital evangelizers as we are integral in proclaiming God’s mercy and love especially during the pandemic lockdown. He also expressed his gratitude to 2,500 digital missionaries who committed to take part in responding to the Church's call for synodality which started with only three last year.
The good monsignor continued by asking to continue working and journeying together. He also reminded us to stay united with the Church, the Pope and the Bishops. Moreso, he presented a gift from the Holy Father, a small olive tree blessed and watered by Pope Francis himself as a symbol of unity and peace.
Catholic Digital Missionaries
The night was filled with the Spirit through prayers, reflections and songs from different Catholic personalities such as Hakuna Group Music (Spain), Father Rob Galea (Australia), Pitter Di Laura (Brazil), Pablo Martínez (Argentina), Missionarios Shalom (Brazil) and among many more.
It was made more special when Jonathan Roumie appeared on the stage. Roumie is an American actor whose career skyrocketed through his portrayal of Jesus in the series The Chosen. He gave his testimony and challenged those present to develop a deep relationship with Jesus.
It was truly an encounter with Jesus in the presence of digital evangelizers and missionaries coming from different parts of the world.
Enthralled to have selfie with Ms. Ursula Murua (EWTN), Juan Delgado (a Grammy awarded musician), and Paula Vega (a Catholic influencer from Spain) who was the emcee of the program.
Maria Lorenzo, Sr. Ester Palma, Catolikillos, Fr. Jorge Reinaudo and Mi Espacio Catolico were also present.
Cardinal Tagle: Preach the Gospel
It was overwhelming -- the crowd, the music, the encounter with other influencers. It was a party.
Yet it was also an opportunity to exercise what Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle, Pro-Prefect of the Dicastery for Evangelisation, kept telling the youth: Be an influencer who preaches the Gospel of Jesus.
Our very own Cardinal Tagle, who gave a talk before digital influencers for WYD, had a special message for digital evangelizers: “Influencers should lead by example and invite bishops, priests, religious, and young people into the fertile ground of ministry and mission in the digital world.”
Cardinal Chito stressed that every influencer must be influenced by Jesus and spread the Good News in social media.
Collaboration and Communion
The festival is now over but the mission continues. As we, Dominus Est, hope to continue to bring the Good News to everyone, we are reminded that we are not alone in this aspiration. Like the first disciples of Jesus, we are sent by twos, by groups even -- we are invited to collaborate with each other.
We are encouraged to work together for the fulfillment of our mission as social media evangelizers in communion with the Body of Christ, the Church.