This has been one of the challenges that has characterised this time of confinement in the local Church in Peru. Quarantine began the same week as the school year and the pastoral calendar was expected to start. We had to react to the need to provide virtual spaces for prayer, meeting, reflection and liturgy … Those who were already familiar with the digital world offered to give a basic course on virtual platforms for consecrated people and lay people of all ages who work in this area.
Pastoral care in the digital world brings with it the danger of pastoral agents and lay adults being left out if they find it difficult to get on this technological train. That is why we set out not to replace them but to foster greater cooperation between different generations. Practically this means that each adult catechist or pastoral worker is “adopted” in some way by a young person who is prepared to teach them how to enter an online meeting, or to support the technical part of a radio program or an online formation.
Although evangelization requires a real learning effort and for us to be professional in our attitude, no one should rule themselves out because we have all been called to evangelize in these times in which we live. Perhaps many of us will definitely feel like foreigners in the digital world. But that does not take away from the love put into inculturating ourselves and trying to speak their language and use their dynamics. Indeed, the love of God passes through what is generated with beauty and has a message which catches ones eye and attracts attention, but it also reaches people through the hidden love of those who give their all and live their lives open to the Spirit as a way of conceiving their existence.
Carrying out evangelization in the digital world does not mean modernizing ourselves. Evangelization is not governed by trends or fads. It requires us to understand what people are going through and the philosophy that penetrates the culture of the places where we are. Only then do we avoid limiting ourselves to digitizing what we have always done and the faith we send via an article, Twitter, or radio program becomes a true dialogue with the person of today.
Mari Carmen Izquierdo