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True Encounter

Selfie_AlineopKOTA KINABALU – Pope Francis chooses ‘encounter’ as theme for World Communications Day 2014.  He said it is through communication that people are able to meet and encounter others on a meaningful level and to “express who we are, what we think and believe, how we wish to live and, perhaps more importantly, to come to know those with whom we are called to live.  Here are what our young communicators encountered in the 3-day workshop and special open session of the recently held Media Workshop at Sacred Heart Cathedral Parish May 1-3.                          

 Jeremy Lau: The experience I had was an amazing one! The topic Creative Evangelisation & Mass Media presented by Fr Francis Lucas was very informative and thought provoking. The talk covered on items including the new language, culture & ways of doing things of the world, the challenges for Catholics, ways to engage people through media and others.

But before that, there was a fun and interactive ice-breaker game. We also got to learn a song that was written by the YFC (Youth for Christ) themselves!

However, the one thing that hit me the most was that we are slowly losing our true senses to ‘idols’, absolute truth with relativism, sacredness with materialism, senses of sin and true love with self-gratification! We need to prevent media from influencing our general way of thinking. Remember, media is the amplification of bits & pieces of the real world. So why not amplify the good in the world so as to fix good into the mind of others?

Aline Lim:  I am absolutely grateful, I was able to participate in this workshop by Fr Francis Lucas. There are so many things I have learned.

As someone who serves in youth ministry, this was really edifying. Where social media platforms become a place of expression of self for many young people today, I think it is really important for us to know what songs we are listening to, what videos we are watching, and what we are posting. The human conscience that God has given to us, is not dead, when it comes to social media.  We can use this as a means to evangelize and be missionaries!

And I have learned, not to judge and condemn those who convey “not-so-great” messages in the media; perhaps because in every bad video, every bad song, every bad post, is actually a deep cry for what can only be found in God… Love.

Javier:  Greetings to everyone!  I am blessed and so are you! I have attended a social media workshop and learned a lot of things through this workshop.

Among the things I learned in the workshop was about the modern songs that everyone is listening to nowadays. In my mind, these songs were filled with negative lyrics. Through this talk, as I looked at the lyrics of some of the songs, Fr Lucas showed that there was still a need of liberation in them.

Another thing I learned was that I shouldn’t blame the media for people’s  morality going worse and downwards…it was actually the producers behind the media who was to be blamed since they were the ones who used media for their own  advantage to promote something, to sell their products and to gain money from it. Media is just a tool to amplify their products, it can be used for good and for bad.

Sheryl Lim – “Pleasure is never complete; happiness is,” said Fr Francis Lucas.

For me as a teenager, I spend a lot of my time on social media. It’s almost impossible to go without logging in everyday.

The thing that really hit me in the workshop is the ugly truth; that Christianity is the most persecuted religion, and how persecutors would go to the extreme when it comes to this.

Our role is to evangelize and bring them to know Christ. Through social media, I have learned that there are many ways to do it. Posting statuses, pictures, comments, shares, you name it.

Before, when I came across posts in the social media that depict hatred towards Christianity, I used to ignore them and didn’t care much about it.

The highlight of the workshop for me is that I have learned that we shouldn’t just be silent; because when we do that, in a way, we are admitting “defeat”. So, I learned that I can do something and say something to stand tall and mighty for Jesus through media!-Jennifer Chong


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