PENAMPANG – Advances in communications technology serve as vital tools in helping the church in her administration, worship and communication.
However, it is also a source of distraction to the faith which might become a substitute for human interaction besides its negative influences from rampant spread of fake news today. It is therefore timely to remind members of the social communications ministry to invoke the intervention of the Holy Spirit for guidance and wisdom in carrying out their tasks in the dissemination of information and news.
Penampang parish priest Fr Wilfred Atin said in his homily before officially commissioning the Social Communications (SOCCOM) Committee for the Penampang parish of St Michael’s Church, in conjunction with the World Communications Day 2021 (WCD 2021),May 16, during Mass at St Michael’s Church.
“The media can be good and can be bad to us, helping us to grow in faith, sustaining us as Christians, and spreading love and virtue of the Gospel; but it can also be a source of distraction,” underlined Fr Atin.
In explaining on the importance of the Holy Spirit, he reminded his audience of the Spirit’s role in the guidance of faith matters, guidance to the truth, as well as confidence in facing the challenges presented by this modern, borderless and instantaneous communication with just the tip of the finger.
The use of modern communication means through the internet in church administration has become more apparent over the change of time as the more effective way of communication. The parish website, live streaming and other main social media platforms have proven to be the inevitable and essential means of moving forward especially during the pandemic.
On other hand, the negative impact of being overly dependent of communication devices especially the smartphones becomes obvious in its substitution for human interaction.
People are now able to be fully equipped with individual gadget that can connect them with the world anywhere and everywhere. Each latest news, be it true or fake, welcome or unwelcome, can become part and parcel of our daily lives.
The church community may therefore, if lacking in faith foundation, be in jeopardy in falling into atheism if it has no understanding of the existence and role of the Holy Spirit and its wisdom.
Fr Atin emphasized that the social communications ministry has an important and vast role in helping the church to reach the people and impact them of God’s message of love and salvation through every available channel of communication at their disposal, with the help of Holy Spirit.
Meanwhile, the parish marked the World Communication Day 2021 with a week-long training and seminar program for its SOCCOM members. The zones which participated were Sugud, Limbanak, Kolopis, Sukang-Mabpai and Penampang with the exception of Kinarut, Labak, and Bisuang due to the movement control order (MCO) with its travel restriction. Minintod, Terian and Longkogungan were unable to join because of other commitment and outstation transport difficulties.
The training program comprised live streaming technicalities, videography and photography, while the handling of drone, article writing and fellowship has to be postponed due to the SOP restrictions imposed by the government. The highlight of the occasion was the procession of the WCD 2021 message placards during the Mass entrance, and the commissioning of SOCCOM members by the parish priest. – JJ/SOCCOM Penampang