The Vatican Dicastery for Communication, the World Youth Day organisers, and the Episcopal Commission for Communication, Lisbon, convened for the Eucharistic celebration with Digital Youth Faith Influencers. This grand celebration took place at Praça Martim Moniz (Martim Moniz Square), Lisbon, on the eve of the first international encounter with the Digital Faith influencers.
The 4th of August Catholic Influencers Festival is for Catholic social media influencers, podcasters, YouTubers, etc., who participate in the ‘The Church listens to you’ initiative, which is part of the present synod. It also responds to Pope Francis’ invitation to extend the Synod on Synodality to the digital world.
The Catholic Influencers Festival is the first of its kind and is taking place at the Catholic University of Portugal. During his address at the commencement ceremony, Cardinal José Tolentino de Mendonça, the prefect of the Dicastery for Culture and Education, reaffirmed to the youth that the Church holds high regard for its missionary contributions. The Church acknowledges their enthusiasm and great enthusiasm. The prelates pleaded with the young missionaries of the digital age, “Be the leaven of hope in these new spaces of social construction that are social networks and digital networks.”
With their mobile devices broadcasting the event to the entire universe, the youth thoroughly enjoyed what will forever be a significant and thrilling juncture in the history of the Catholic Church.
Furthermore, at the events were many dignitaries, including the prefect of the dicastery for communications, Dr Paolo Ruffini, and his secretary, Mons. Lucio. Four Cardinals were present at the Eucharistic celebration, and many con-celebrating priests. Four priests from Togo, the Central African Republic, Sierra Leone, and Cameroon were among the numerous faith influencers from the continent. Several faith influencers from Sierra Leone, Ghana, Togo, Kenya, and So Tome and Principe represented the continent.
The celebration was vibrant, with youngsters from diverse backgrounds, cultures, tribes, races, and professions exuding affection as they shared their universal fellowship. In his discourse, the Prelate of Lisbon called on the young digital missionaries to be authentic influencers, as this is the invitation of the Synod.
An image of the Holy Father and a cross were presented to each influencer present. They were mandated to be faithful disciples by carrying the cross to the world. During the offertory, the youths innovatively offered their social media platforms to the Lord. This was accomplished by affixing notes containing their social media handles to the World Youth Day symbol. In this image, in the form of a cross, the youth appended the notes, asking the Lord to receive all they do via social media.
During the closing remarks, Cardinal Tagle moved the crowd in his powerful speech, calling them to be advocates of good news, not negative things. He said the media is a source of harmful information, such as war, hatred, misinformation, and malice. However, digital youth missionaries should counter that with the good news of Jesus Christ. Nonetheless, digital youth missionaries ought to counteract that by conveying the uplifting message of Jesus Christ.
Please watch for updates about the upcoming events as we plan to share our experiences of D-Day with all our followers and fellow digital missionaries.
We extend our sincere appreciation to Sr Leonida Katunge for sharing this information from Lisbon.