The 21st century is seeing modern technology becoming the new way of life for many sectors, including the Church. Many churches throughout the world utilise various forms of social media platforms to stay connected with their parishioners and community due to the COVID-19 pandemic. In Malaysia, although we have been physically separated from the Church since 14 March 2020, we truly appreciate and are grateful for the availability of social media in order to receive up-to-date information that can be shared with others instantly.
Since being physically separated from the Church, our Parish’s Catechetical Ministry has met with their respective students through video conferencing, as a way to teach catechism. They have adapted their teaching strategies, syllabus and activities for online lessons, and every Sunday teachers spend an hour with their students, sharing their knowledge of faith with them. Besides their catechism text books, some teachers have also utilised lessons prepared by the Archdiocese of Kuala Lumpur Catechetical team.
I really appreciate our Catechetical team for making the effort to stay connected with our students, sharing their knowledge of God. I admire their great diligence and commitment in preparing and presenting their weekend lessons to the students. I would like to thank them for playing their role as devoted teachers and being effective in reaching out to students through the various platforms. I hope once we come back to Church, we may be able to continue lessons with our students and complete the syllabus before the year ends.
Our Parish Youth Ministry is also connected to each other through social media. They share their experiences, knowledge, activities and post updates about their lives via social media to build their relationships and friendship. I know that many of you are busy with college assignments, personal responsibilities, working from home and other activities, but I urge you not to neglect your relationship with your Church friends. I also hope that you take special interest in being spiritually in communion with the Church through online Mass especially the weekend Mass to pray together as a family. Just remember that there is no social distancing when it comes to Church and God. There are so many ways to obtain information and good news about the Church, through the internet, for your personal spiritual growth. I strongly urge you and your chat groups to pray the Rosary as a group or as individuals during this second half of the month of Rosary. My best wishes to you, as you stay connected with one another to keep your faith growing and glowing in the Spirit, and to make Christ and His Church alive in you during this time.
Our Parish Ministry of the Poor (MOP) under the Parish Integral Human Development (PIHD) organisation, has been continuously reaching out to the poor and the needy. On Saturdays, they go out to distribute provision of groceries and other essential items to the poor around our vicinity. I am proud and amazed at their hard work, concern and care for our adoptees and poor families. Other Basic Ecclesial Communities (BECs) are taking their own initiative in reaching out to the needy in their respective areas. However, it would be good for BECs to communicate and work together with the MOP team, as we move ahead as a Church in one direction.
There are other ministries, BECs and individuals too who gather through social media praying the Rosary, sharing their experiences and faith with one another. I too make an effort by sending Morning and Evening Prayers (the Church Prayer) and daily intention for Rosary related to COVID-19, to the various ministries and individuals, inviting them to join the Church in prayer. It is my way of staying connected with my beloved parishioners and friends.
Of course, social media has its negatives and positives but it is a blessing for us to stay connected with one another. It is a powerful tool for evangelisation, especially when we share our faith with one another by living out the Good News daily.
Rev. Fr. George P.