by Clyde Ericson H. Nolasco
cover photo from Vatican newspaper L’Osservatore Romano, August 29, 2013
In a world struck with pandemic, threatened by wars and divided due to political issues, the Catholic church remains relevant even in the eighth continent, the “digital continent.”
In the first quarter of 2021, Blueprint.ph (a local data analytics and campaign consultancy firm) released sentiment analysis revealing “faith” as one of the consistent trending keyword categories for the first months of the year.
For the month of February 2021 alone, “faith” garnered more than 48 million engagement scores or around 38% of all Facebook engagements by Filipinos along with other categories such as Korean wave, international news, COVID-19, and local entertainment, local news, social media, brands, OPM and inspirational.
With 1,953,858 likes and 3,634,970 followers, the Quiapo Church, the Basilica of the Nazareno consistently tops the trending keywords under faith category. These numbers prove that in spite of the challenges and struggles that FIlipinos are going through especially during this pandemic, we remain faithful to God as we continue to rely on Him even through the modernity of social media.
In addition to Quiapo, we can also mention other church Facebook pages that exert efforts to bring God to our homes through online worship services such as the Manila Cathedral (whose YouTube channel just recently earned the Silver play button), the historical Basilica Minore del Santo Niño de Cebu (the location for the 2nd National Mission Congress) and the Greenbelt chapel (a haven in the middle of the concrete jungle in Makati). Let us also mention TV Maria, a Catholic TV Network that brings us Good News through their different programs.
The effort of the Church in new evangelization, like the love of God, continues and overflows.
As we celebrate the World Communications Sunday, open your FB accounts and check if you have already ticked the like button and are already following these inspiring local Catholic pages:
1. Catholics at Work - Posting infographics on doctrine and saints, this page focuses on spreading the Good News of the Lord by explaining the Catechism and Traditions.
2. Sakristan Spotted - As their name suggests, the page through art cards and memes explores the beauty of serving the Lord especially through being an altar server.
3. HugotSeminarista - With the main goal of promoting vocations to priesthood, this page is a companion spreading the faith through Church updates, news and events.
4. Millennial Catholics - This page is a Catholic page promoting the faith through words and images that are appealing to the young generation.
5. 100% KATOLIKONG PINOY! - This is the online ministry of the Pilgrim and Companion Communications, a Filipino Catholic community.
6. Servant’s Chronicle - Established in 2020, the page aims to use the socmed to provide information about our Church and the Catholic Faith.
7. Saints of Today - This is a social communication page that uses the modern media to bring the Good News to others through their posts and online masses.
8. Praise - This artsy Catholic page is an archive of digital artworks by Paolo Montances that are meant to inspire its followers to praise God.
9. Kabataang Katoliko - An online community of young people, the page discusses and shares our Catholic faith, traditions, practices, doctrines and expressions.
10. Spread the Light - This Catholic page “spreads the light” through their cartoonized graphics of saints, prayers and online masses.
On a personal note, may I suggest to you to follow also the following pages:
Mater Dei - A page dedicated to Mary that promotes the faith through graphics created by Dominus Est’s graphic artist Jon Lecias.
Batang Minor TV - This page is the social media arm of the Immaculate Conception Minor Seminary in Bulacan that aims to promote continuous spiritual formation and vocation managed by our livestream director Allan Anthony Sabroso.
It would be impossible for me to list all the Catholic pages I am following but may the ones mentioned above really serve their purpose in you – inspire you to find and see God in everything.
Let’s be reminded of Pope Francis’ words in 2016 that “emails, text messages, social networks and chats can also be fully human forms of communication” and modern communications is “a gift of God which involves a great responsibility.” Thus, if fully and responsibly utilized, could allow us to see Jesus.
May our every click be an encounter with Jesus that we may continue to proclaim that Dominus Est, it is the Lord!