A Cry For Voluntarism

A scene from Creative Imagineering Workshop with Teeyah (leftmost) and her “acting” group


“Why are you here?” was the only thing asked by the speaker when the lady stood up and, minutes later, burst into tears as she gave her answer. The overwhelming passion to serve God and Holy Mother Church coupled with the difficulty of doing so from the experience of having to juggle it with one’s responsibilities as a mother, wife, and housekeeper topped with the new realization of the gargantum task the Social Communications and Media Ministry has in heeding the call of renewed evangelization in today’s society prompted the lady to voice her cry for, “Voluntarism!”

The lady, Teeyah Onjunco, happened to be one of the 33 participants of “Creative Imagineering PowWow”, a Seminar on the New Means of Evangelization the Diocese of Novaliches’ Social Communications and Media Ministry (SocComm Nova) held at the Chancery Office, Fairview Park last June 25, 2016.

Married for 23 years, Teeyah has been serving the San Isidro Labrador Parish in Q.C.’s Barangay Bagong Silangan as Parish Renewal Experience (PREX) member, initially, before she became a part of the Ministries of Family and Life, of the Pastoral Care for Women and Children, and of Stewardship–while serving the needs of her husband and sole son. She admits that volunteering for the Church has helped deepen her knowledge in God and her Faith, especially through the ongoing Spirituality Of Stewardship (SOS) formations of the Stewardship Ministry.

St. Pauls’ Rev. Fr. Restie Dela Pena during the Write Right 4 Christ Seminar of SocComm Nova

Now that she was asked to attend SocComm Nova’s “Creative Imagineering Seminar”, she couldn’t help but blurt out the need for more people to engage in the Church through the Parish Media Ministries after realizing its capacity to reach out to more souls and to mold Public opinion through Gospel values.

It was actually that same need for Voluntarism that SocComm Nova launched its series of conventions and seminars for 2016. The Ministry–being young after only started last 2015–is in need of “arms”, “legs”, “feet” and “body” to actually fulfill what it is expected of it as an ordained service of the Catholic Church. In gist, the 2016 series of conventions and seminars were meant to organize and establish the Social Communications and Media Ministry of the Diocese in the diocesan, vicariate, and parish levels.

Catering to two sets of participants, the Social Communications and Media Convention Series 2016 was designed as an organizational development tool for those who are already part of the Ministry–either in the Parish, Vicariate, and Diocesan level. While the Social Communications and Media Seminar Series 2016 is a Training and Formation Program open to the Public that aims to entice them to actually take part in the Ministry.

Snapshots 4 Christ participants taking a shot tinkering with ISO settings

The Seminar Series began with “Write Right 4 Christ“, a Basic Seminar on Writing and Journalism, conducted by St. Pauls team of experts last May 7, 2016. This was immediately followed on May 20, 2016 by a Basic Seminar on Photography and Photo Journalism entitled, “Snapshots 4 Christ,” through speakers Rev. Fr. Noel Azupardo and Mr. Julius Panday. Then came, “R U Social?”, a Basic Seminar on Social Media Platforms conducted by the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines Media Office’s (CBCP Media) Mr. Raymond Bandril last July 23, 2016.

On the other hand, the Convention Series was rolled out last January 13, 2016 through “Creative Imagineering Seminar” conducted by CBCP Episcopal Commission on Social Communications and Media (CBCP-ECSC) Secretary Rev. Fr. Lito Jopson who laid the grounds for establishing the Ministry in the Diocese. The “Creative Imagineering Workshop” followed suit on March 12, 2016 through the leas of SocComm Nova Director Rev. Fr. Ambrosio Nonato Legaspi. Collectively, the Creative Imagineering Seminar & Workshop aimed to craft SocComm Nova’s Vision, Mission, and Goals (VMG) and setup its internal pool of volunteers (Core Group) and expert consultants (Collaborators).

The “1st SocComm Nova Convention for Lay Members” on March 18, 2016 and “for Priest Members” (supposedly on March 29, 2016) were then meant to be the venues of cascading the Ministry’s VMG to the Vicariate Media Ministry Teams for orientation and tasking.
As the last string of its Convention Series for 2016, the “Creative Imagineering PowWow” intended to orient the Vicariate Media Ministry Teams on the new forms of and approaches in evangelization in use today with the hope of attaining a renewed mindset among its participants when it comes to Social Communications and Media.

EWTN Asia Pacific’s Mr. Patrick Manlapaz during the Creative Imagineering PowWow

“Creative Imagineering PowWow” was conducted by no less than ETWN Asia Pacific‘s New Media Strategist Mr. Patrick Manlapaz who tackled a host of topics from the “Apostolate Is Communication” to “Levels of Communication”, “Millenials & Media Consumption”, “New Media and Audience Behavior”, “New Evangelization Methods & Expressions”, and “Strategic Social Communication”. The participants also had a pre-taste Acting Workshop through numerous energetic activities that prompted to conceptualize and actually convey varied emotions used in Communication as application of what was taught.

Despite the closing of the Convention Series staged for the year and two more upcoming sets to seal the Seminar Series, SocComm Nova’s need for volunteers is still on a high scale. What the organizational and training and formation series have done so far was actually create awareness in the Diocese of the Ministry’s existence. Plus, it landed a talented brood of volunteers specializing in photography, videography, video editing, and journalism into the Core Group. There is still a high demand for writers, editors, researchers, reporters, graphic designers, layout artists, social media specialists, social media strategists, and website administrators, among others.

A recent survey conducted by the Ministry, which was presented during the “Creative Imagineering PowWow”, showed only 35% of Parishes in the Diocese–24 out of 68 Parishes–have established their Media Ministries while most of the Vicariates–9 out of 11 Vicariates–do not have a Vicariate-Level Media Ministry setup yet. There is, obviously, much work to be done. Thus, the cry for voluntarism continues… (~Minnie De Luna)

CBCP Media’s Mr. Raymond Bandril during SocComm Nova’s R U Social? Seminar

The Social Communications & Media Ministry of the Diocese of Novaliches (SocComm Nova) will be having a “Seminar on Religious Online Advertising and Fund Raising” on August 20, 2016 at 9AM-3PM in the Conference Room of the Chancery Office, Regalado Avenue, Fairview Park, Q.C. with Rev. Fr. Christian Buenafe, O.Carm leading the team of Titus Brandsma Media Center as speaker. While the “Documentary Videographies With Religious Themes” Seminar will be conducted by TV5 “Family Matters” Director and Communications Foundations Asia (CFA) Deputy Director Ms. Pie Mabanta-Fenomeno on September 17, 2016 at 9AM-3PM also in the same venue. Registration for each seminar is through 5145318 at a fee of Php150.00 per person per seminar.

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