Tuesday, 14 April 2020 10:22

Media Ministry plays vital role in the Catholic Church

"The media apostolate is here to stay and will play a greater role in the life of the Church from now on."

Bishop Broderick Pabillo, Apostolic Administrator of Manila wrote this in his reflection called "Post COVID Ministry" which was released on April 13, 2020.

Bishop Pabillo pointed out how the Church saw the significant contribution of the media ministry in every parish and religious institution during the Holy Week liturgical celebrations while in the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) period, thus, urges parishes and communities to "set up good social media ministries."

"Some realizations become clear to us. First, the importance of the social media. Parishes who have well-developed social media ministry are able to reach their people easily and offer them services. Thus we should develop our social media ministry," he said.

"Online religious services are here to stay. Many of our elderly people will hesitate to go to church; the social distancing cannot be easily done in our churches because we do not have that many churches," he added.

Bishop Broderick Pabillo, Apostolic Administrator of Manila during his pastoral visit to San Roque de Manila Parish in August 2019. | Photo Credit: San Roque de Manila Parish Facebook Page


He also stated in his reflection how important the media has become in the ministry for the sick, and this is one of the things the coronavirus outbreak has allowed the church to take into consideration.

"We should seriously think as an archdiocese to strengthen our ministry to the sick, even down to the parochial level. This ministry does not only cater to the sick in the hospitals but also to the medical staff, and also to the sick and the elderly in their homes," he said.

The Bishop also sees the need to recruit and deploy more lay ministers that will give communion to the sick and the elderly. He sees the possibility of more elder people being able to participate at Mass online amidst the lockdown and also be able to receive Holy Communion in their homes.

"In many parishes, we either do not have enough lay ministers, or many of our lay ministers are old, or both. The elderly ones can no longer give communion in the homes because they themselves are susceptible to be infected. Thus we need to recruit more and younger lay ministers," he said.

On the issue raised by those who criticized the Catholic Church on the money to be used to help the poor, Bishop Pabillo said that it died down because the churches,  schools and religious houses were the first to open its doors to feed and shelter those who were affected by the pandemic - the homeless and street dwellers, the medical frontliners and all the other uniformed personnel who battle COVID-19.

He also lauded Caritas Manila, the social service arm of the Archdiocese of Manila and its partnership with the business community and the government for the efficient and rapid mobilization of extending help and assistance to the poor families.

Caritas Manila distributed more than P1billion worth of gift certificates to poor families. Each family received one thousand pesos worth of gift certificate. This was made possible through the help of the 668 parishes in mega Manila and its volunteers.

He also recognized the good networking of the parishes with the barangay, which helped them identify the poor families in different areas. This, according to Bishop Pabillo, is through the establishment of the Basic Ecclesiastical Communities (BEC).

"Naging mabango ang simbahan sa buwang ito dahil sa ang simbahan ay bumaba sa mga tao. Talagang naramdaman nila ang simbahan, hindi sa kanyang gawaing pangsamba ngunit sa kanyang pagtulong sa mahihirap."

In the last part of his reflection, the Bishop informed the faithful that he will be releasing more reflections that "would set some paths for the ministry of the church after the lock down."

He asked them to "deepen and widen the conversation on this topic of challenges to the ministry these coming days. (Jheng Prado/RCAM-AOC)


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