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South Asia Social communication and Mission Delegates Meet

By Francis Xavier
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Panjim, Nov. 18. The Social Communications and Mission Delegates of South Asia met online on November 15 and 16, 2021, to work together and communicate Jesus today through the dynamics of culture in the digital environment. The General Councillor for Social Communication, Father Gildasio Mendes and General Councillor for Salesian Missions, Father Alfred Maravilla, were present.
Father Mendes spoke about the anthropological view of communication in the digital world. To evangelize is to start from who we are, human, he said. Evangelizing in the digital environment is a question of sharing experiences, creation, vision, real projects and not just putting up information and messages on the Internet. Evangelizing is creating human relationships in solidarity, added Father Mendes.

General Councillor for Salesian Missions, Father Alfred Maravilla, spoke on connecting with the Millennial and 'Gen Z' mindsets to bring them to discover the person of Jesus. Younger millennials connected through social media across linguistic, cultural and geographic barriers desire to have all the information to provide instant answers and instant feedback. For them, the virtual world is the physical world. They are always connected. For them, there is no offline anymore. They are vigorous contributors and high consumers of online content. They are creative, realistic and focused on the future. They have a broad awareness of important issues and events and have a great desire to search for the truth. But they want to choose and discover the truth for themselves. If we as communicators of Jesus wish to connect, then the initial proclamation is not about teaching Christian doctrines but fostering an overwhelming and exhilarating experience capable of stirring up the desire in the young to search the truth and an interest in the person of Jesus.

Father Maravilla said the challenge is to train and accompany millennials and Generation Z to create faith-based content for themselves and their peers on social media that can stir interest in knowing the person of Jesus Christ.

The participants on day one discussed how to apply arts, music, theatre, dance etc., in evangelization in the digital and virtual universe and the mindset of young people today.

On day two, the delegates of the respective provinces for social communication and missions met to discuss the obstacles in collaboration and the possible way forward on the theme, Communicating Christ Today - Missionaries Online.
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