The Archdiocese of Cebu formally launched on February 1 new social media platforms ahead of the year-long celebration of the 500th anniversary of the arrival of Christianity in the Philippines.
“This is an opportunity to venture to new grounds where we can spread the faith,” said Archbishop Jose Palma at the launching of the new media platform in his residence in Cebu City.
The prelate described the new initiative as a “positive result” of the pandemic that allows the Church to “do mission in the digital sphere.”
Archbishop Palma said St. John Paul II predicted 15 years ago the “potential of new technologies” to enable the sharing of information and facilitate interactive communication.
The four major social media platforms and websites of the archdiocese will serve as a virtual hub for updates and initiatives for the quincentennial celebration.
“Let us encounter Christ in these new technologies and let us share Christ as we journey through the virtual streets and alleys of the digital word,” said the archbishop.
Father Mar Balili, secretary general of the archdiocese’s celebrations, said all major activities starting April 14 will be streamed live online on the various social media platforms and media partners.
Organizers of the celebration have also prepared contingencies in case cases of the new coronavirus disease increase in Cebu City before the celebration.
“We are open to any possibilities depending on the recommendations from [government],” said Father Balili.
“We are very obedient to the government especially that we are looking after the health of the people,” added the priest.
Father Balili said that before April 14 there will be triduum celebrations throughout the province of Cebu that will include the baptism of 100 children, the blessing of Jubilee Crosses in all Churches, and cultural shows that will portray the arrival of Christianity and how it was propagated.
Archbishop Charles John Brown, the new apostolic nuncio to the Philippines, will lead the opening Mass and renewal of baptism, reminiscent of the first baptism in Cebu City, during the celebrations in April.