At a recent meeting of the Commission on Initial Formation (CIF), the members realized that the lockdown has made more people, especially the young, to turn to social media. They go to the social media platforms to read news, watch videos, entertain themselves, listen to insights, express themselves and connect with others especially their friends. This insight inspired us to set up a social media platform to connect with others—to spread the Word of God, to promote the Vincentian charism and work for a culture of vocations. That day Vincent Connects Media Center was born.
The task of taking charge of the project fell on the shoulders of Fr. Nelson Bisco, CM, the National Vocation Director. “I was a bit hesitant to start the project because we were at a bad time; we were in the midst of a pandemic. Where will I get the funds? Many businesses were struggling to stay afloat. Who will give me money to put up this project? ” These were the questions that raced through my mind. But I consoled myself saying, “there’s no harm in trying.” A good and noble project might touch people and move them to support it– even in these trying times.
I prayed hard and started talking to my close friends about supporting it; it was not difficult to convince them. They pledged to help by soliciting funds and connecting me with people who could provide advice on the design and equipment. Their full support convinced me that this project was certainly the will of God. An architect friend designed the studio for free. Another connected me with a supplier of the equipment. The initial cost of the studio plus the equipment was 550,000 pesos or about US$12,000. With the proposal at hand, I started soliciting from my friends. In just a week, I was able to get almost 200,000. After another two weeks, I had enough money to start the construction.
Since the media center would be part of an existing building where a community of Vincentians was residing, I presented my proposal to them and got their approval. Everything was falling into place. By late August, I already had the necessary amount to complete the media center and to purchase the equipment. God’s hand was working on this project. The studio was finished on the third week of September and the equipment was delivered and set up three days before the Feast of St. Vincent.
Fr. Gregg Bañaga, Jr., CM., Provincial Visitor blessed the Vincent Connects Media Center on September 27, 2020 in the presence of the members of the Central House community. The inauguration and blessing was livestreamed through Facebook. Our Superior General, Fr. Tomaž Mavrič, CM, honored us with a welcome message. Indeed, if you entrust everything to God, He will assist us. God turned our dream of a media center into a reality.
We hope to launch our programs by second week of October 2020. Vincent Connects Media Center will be a resource for the Vincentian Family to engage in digital evangelization, promote the Vincentian charism and create a culture of vocations. May this humble initiative give praise and glory to Jesus, the rule of the mission. “One way to ensure the continuing blessings of the Lord”, St. Vincent said, “is to use them as soon as we receive them, according to his good pleasure for the greatest benefit to our neighbor.”
by Fr. Nelson B. Bisco, CM
National Vocation Director
Congregation of the Mission – Philippine Province