Young people must take on the responsibility for the evangelization of this “digital continent” (Benedict XVI, Message on the Occasion of the 43rdWorld Communications Day, January 24, 2009). In 2011 we began an evangelization initiative with an outreach to all people (children, young adults, adults) for the sole purpose of making the Vincentian charism known to others. We were not focused on recruiting vocations but wanted to reach out to both consecrated individuals and to lay persons. Indeed, we wanted to show the cyberworld that the approach of Vincent de Paul is a pathway that is always new and open to the present-day challenges of evangelization.
We began with a blog that still exists and that is dedicated to making known the life of the saints, the liturgy, proper to each day and the different apostolates of the Vincentian Family in Colombia. Very quickly, our virtual evangelization project opened new paths … we began to have a wider audience that included people from all of Latin America and people from all the different Spanish speaking countries. Our plan was based on three pillars: information, formation and entertainment.
Information includes news and everything that is relevant with regard to the life of the Vincentian Family and the life of the Church. In the area of formation, we attempt to generate short articles that communicate a message (lengthier articles and books can be downloaded on our primary website). In the entertainment section we have material geared toward children and toward teenagers that also communicates a message.
At the present time we see ourselves as an influential means of evangelization on the internet with some 15,000 followers on our social networks: a webpage (www.corazondepaul.com) and a channel on YouTube (Corazón de Paul TV). Like any new project we had to confront challenges and detractors … doing something new in order to reach out to other people is never an easy task.
We work out of the Major Seminary Viilla Paúl and have the support of the formators, the seminarists, Sisters, and laypersons who contribute to this ministry. Our process of evangelization is in accord with the lines of action of the Catholic Church, more specifically with the concepts outlined in Inter Miifica (document approved by the Second Vatican Council and promulgated December 4, 1963). We have been inspired by the biblical text: go out to the whole world and proclaim the good news (Matthew 28:19) and we take seriously the commitment to make Jesus Christ known to other people. We are also aware of the fact that our proclamation of good news on the internet would be useless unless that we allow that same message to influence our own personal daily life.
By: Andrés Felipe Rojas
Province of Colombia
Charles T. Pock, CM