(Vatican Radio) The 51st International Eucharistic Congress (IEC) has utilized social media to spread the message of the power of the Eucharist.
News, photos, and videos from Cebu, Philippines, have been sent around the world via Facebook, Twitter, Flickr, and other social media platforms.
The visit by Pope Francis in January, 2015, was when the Bishops of the Philippines fully grasped the power of social media, and they wanted to use the Papal Visit as a launching pad for how they promoted the IEC.
“This is like a spillover of the papal visit last year, so they decided that given what took place last January, 2015, we would come up with some sort of similar template, and we would want to bring the 51st International Eucharistic Congress to the whole world,” said Bishop Mylo Vergara of Pasig, and chairman of the Communications Team of the Catholic Bishops' Conference of the Philippines.
“It’s doing well,” he told Vatican Radio. “In fact, there have been reactions from different parts of the globe very grateful for sharing bits and pieces of the Congress to them.”
Bishop Vergara a key role of the Communications Team’s social media strategy is played by young people.
“They’re very excited,” he said. “I think this is how we connect with the young.”
The bishop said young people now use social media as a way to evangelize.
“It is a realization that what happens is the young become more connected to God given social media,” said Bishop Vergara. “What happens is they are touched by whatever happens and they want to promote it to others.”