The University of Santo Tomas, through its Office of Public Affairs, partnered with the Catholic Media Network (CMN) to present the Media Leadership Lecture Series on April 20, 2022. It was live streamed through the official UST Facebook page.
With CMN President Rev. Fr. Francis B. Lucas as keynote speaker, along with Veritas846 Chief Strategy Officer Bro. Clifford Sorita and CBCP Media Office Social Media Manager Ms. April Frances “Sky” Ortigas as panel discussants, the lecture tackled “Christianity in PH 500 years hence: The Role of the Media in Evangelizing the Faithful.”
“Receiving the faith entails the duty to evangelize, to share the faith to everyone. The role of media in evangelization, more than ever, has been an indispensable tool in the modern world,” shared UST Secretary-General Rev. Fr. Louie R. Coronel, O.P., EHL, in his welcome remarks.
“It is our hope that by knowing the ways that media organizations spread the Good News and encounter the presence of Jesus Christ through its programs and initiatives, we would be encouraged to support each other in dynamic ways as we engage in the various traditional, social, and news media platforms available to us,” said UST OPA Director Asst. Prof. Joreen T. Rocamora, Ph.D., who introduced the speaker.
Aside from heading CMN as its President, Fr. Lucas is a mass media consultant and development worker with over 45 years of experience in organizing and leading social development NGOs, people’s organizations, cooperatives, and Church organizations. He has also been involved in the media industry as broadcaster, producer, manager, and provider of media services.
Fr. Lucas shared his expertise, based on documents from the Second Ecumenical Council of the Vatican (Vatican II), such as Inter Mirifica (The Means of Social Communication). He emphasized that, “Whenever you communicate, you have to be responsible for it. You have to think of the common good, and not just your own good, to enhance the evangelization apostolate. Keep on fanning the fire for evangelization.”
The first panel discussant, Bro. Sorita, made the role of media in evangelization easier to remember through an acronym: MEDIA – Mediate in the dialogical process; Eradicate the obstacles towards communicative rationality; Disseminate the story of 500 years of the richness of our faith; Introduce the frontiers of New Evangelization; and Advocate for the ethical utilization of media in Philippine society.
Sharing her experience and insights with CBCP News and Areopagus Communications was Ms. Sky Ortigas as the second panel discussant. ‘Who is God?’ remains one of the trending questions being searched online, said Ortigas, and as evangelizers, “We pondered on what we could offer as an answer. Through brainstorming sessions, the words truth and news were the clear message to us: In order for us to tell who God is, we need to tell the truth through the news, to the world.”
Since news is one of the biggest influencers of public opinion, one of the ways they help amplify the truth is through providing opinion, news, and aiding in fact checking efforts with PressOne.PH, to help readers make sense of the digital and interconnected world without falling victim to disinformation or propaganda.
“Wherever God’s people are, we [evangelizers] need to show up,” emphasized Ortigas.
The webinar had over 250 participants from the University, as well as external guests from local Church communities.