Media

In one of our activities during the PLM-SCA servant’s formation, we asked the young leaders on what catches their attention most in social media.

Their response showed that inspiring messages spoke to them more.

Social Media

There are plenty of significant leaders who are not on Twitter or Facebook … yet. But I think more and more people who want to have a lasting impact are joining social media. Joining social media doesn’t mean you have to play Candy Crush on Facebook. You can control how much you engage. You can interact on Twitter from your cell phone and not even worry about getting bogged down in email activity. One of the great things social media does is enables quality leaders to broaden their influence and impact.

Contrary to studies that:

  • Social websites become their first priority, rather than the things that should come first such as school, family and sports.
  • People portray themselves as someone they’re not.
  • Young people can begin to cyberbully another peer; this can lead to many things such as depression and suicidal thoughts.
  • Some youth are easily influenced so they may feel the need to change their physical appearance by comparing themselves to the next person they see in the media.
  • Social media is a very powerful temptation, so it can also become addicting and begin to start sidetracking the youth.

The simple activity revealed that positive messages are big influencers online.

  • Keeps connections between friends when they’re not always able to see each other when they want to.
  • Social media also keeps you up to date with things that are going on around the world rather than just in your area.
  • It gives youth a place to express themselves in a way that a public place wouldn’t allow us to.
  • It helps to develop social skills, a lot of friendships can stem from a social website.
  • It’s a fun way to interact with your peers, other than seeing them in person.

Social media is the latest possibility to reach an audience that might never step into our churches or community.

Before parish priests or youth minsters often would go door to door for the parish census. This gave them the possibility of meeting parishioners (and nonparishioners) and drawing them into parish life.

Although door-to-door evangelization is attractive, it is no longer as viable as it was in times past.

Pope Francis has embraced this new medium and could be considered the first social media pope.

Although Pope Benedict XVI was the first pope to use Twitter, Francis tweets almost daily and currently has 10.8 million followers.

You might ask why we need to use social media.

We can use social media to get out the latest parish news, post inspirational quotes to inspire our parishioners, and give people important notices regarding upcoming events.

Social media helps to get our message out and to draw people to the parish or community website if it’s used properly.

The phenomenon of social media has opened new doors for us.

People “friend” us and welcome us into their daily world.

Social media is part of a new technology that came out of what was called Web 2.0. These social networks range from Facebook and Twitter to Instagram, Pinterest, Snapchat and beyond.

At the same time, the use of social media is not only for getting our message out and sharing information, it’s also about building relationships with real people who create bonds with one another, and this opens hearts to what it is we have to share.

Here is a social media discipleship pathway:

• CONNECT (network) online: social networks, blogs, chat rooms, special interest sites.

• SHARE (post) relevant material that meets the needs of people and invite them to visit and explore wholistic life together through videos
and articles.

• TALK (chat) with your online friends in order to understand their needs, and respond with the relevant messages of hope found in the Bible, and perhaps by sharing your personal story.

• MEET (offline) face-to-face to develop trust and confidence in Jesus.

• INVITE (follow) Jesus on the journey of spiritual development.

Your intention, every step of the way, should be to treat each visitor and contact as a potential disciple. You should take a personal interest in their lives. You cannot expect to disciple 500 to 1,000 people individually, but you can certainly take time to disciple a small group of people and build personal relationships.

Yes, we need to create evangelization opportunities that help bring people back to church. New media, specifically social media, has a huge part in reaching out to people we need to minister to.

Kind

One small, thoughtful gesture can make someone else’s day. This was the inspiration behind the 37th founding anniversary of Pamantasan ng Lungsod ng Maynila – Student Catholic Action (SCA) outreach activity. Alumni and members heralded random acts of kindness in the walled city of Intramuros.

Nearby residents of the university experienced a free meal with jeers and cheers – more laughters and no tears.

It inspired alumni and members to share the heart of giving not only during special occassions but daily.

It’s a lifestyle that reflects God’s goodness and grace to us with a “pay it forward” mentality.

Kindness PLM SCA

Performing random acts of kindness makes you an example of what is possible. You become an inspiration, opening the awareness of others to their own potential. Most of us want our lives to inspire love in others. A simple random act of kindness could very easily be life-giving to both the giver and receiver. When one is coming from a place of generosity, of giving and kindness that is pure and without any expectation or reward in return, what is occurring is the manifestation of a deeper reality, a deeper meaning and knowing that you are not so alone, that you are united and connected to more than you may have ever realized. Photo credits to my dear sisters Marites Villegas & Lalie Jimenez.

How great is it that our random acts of kindness and good deeds can make someone else’s entire day?

Here are some random acts of kindness that you can do to others:

  • When you see something good, share it. Manny, a friend who teaches, said that when his students are doing really well he calls their parents. Manny teaches at an alternative school where parents usually receive calls from the school when their children are in trouble. Manny said he likes to make sure he also calls with good news. How great for the kids and their parents. Keep an eye out for the positive and share it with parents, spouses, friends and so on. These are simple and great random acts of kindness.
  • Be sure to also share in a work setting. When you get great service tell the person who helped you. Then, tell a manager. Go to the corporate web site and submit an email. Write a positive online review of a business you like. It makes a difference. Our mason and electrician said that over 50% of their business comes from online reviews. And, don’t forget to point out those people at your work who do a great job.
  • Everyone is important. Learn the names of your office security guard, the person at the front desk and other people you see every day. Greet them by name. Also say “hello” to strangers and smile. These acts of kindness are so easy, and they almost always make people smile.
  • Hold the elevator. Sometimes, when I hope the elevator will shut before someone else comes and slows me down, I think, “Am I really in that much of a rush that an extra minute will hurt me?”
  • If you see someone who looks lost and might need help with directions, don’t wait for him to ask you for help.
  • Photograph tourists. See a person or a couple trying to take a photo of themselves? Offer to take it for them.
  • When people are gossiping about someone, be the person to chime in with something nice.

Valor

Are you ready to serve?

Today we commemorate the Day of Valor, formerly called Bataán Day, to remind us of the heroism of our soldiers and for Pamantasan ng Lungsod ng Maynila – Student Catholic Action (PLM-SCA) team, it was a day to huddle and to plan for the servant leadership training.

A group of servant alumni reflected on the relevance of the movement in evangelizing the youth in the PLM community.

Valor

A leader with a servant’s heart works tirelessly to develop his or her team and is focused on what they can do for others.

The alumni are composed of doctors, finance executives, educators, engineers and human resources management specialist to name a few.

Beyond their profession, the group aims to continue the servant leadership legacy of the movement.

Student Catholic Action was founded in 1936 in the Philippines and started in Pamantasan ng Lungsod ng Maynila (PLM) back in 1981.

Since then, it has undergone a gradual process of development and expansion. Evolving from a loosely formed city-wide association in the early years it has established itself as a well-knit organization with SCA Units in practically all educational institutions in the Archdiocese of Manila.

Demonstrating adaptability as one of its main assets, SCA first concerned itself with the problem of education in the state university. It was here that the first unit was formed by Columban Father Edward J. McCarthy in 1936 at the University of the Philippines-Manila. It was formally approved by his grace, Archbishop Michael O’ Doherty on April 12, 1936.

During the occupation era the impetus of the early enthusiasm of SCA maintained the organization for a short time. Registered with the Japanese authorities “SCA for secular colleges and universities,” the organization continued with its regular student Masses but eventually, due to lack of priestly assistance, all activities gradually ceased.

After the war in 1948, with the archbishop’s request in Manila, an immediate objective of establishing religion classes in non-sectarian and public schools was called for. SCA was revived and expanded for the main purpose of providing many catechists required for this work not only in Catholic Schools. SCA then had an increasing influence until such time it did not only focus on catechism but also embraced the SIX AIMS (presently the SCA Areas of Concern).

In 1969, during the heightened student activism on Martial Law Years, student organizations including SCA was banned due to the infiltration of the leftists. Other arch/dioceses however continued the program in their own. CBCP abolished SCA in 1985 and the national coordination was lost. In 1998, CBCP, through the efforts of Bp Rolando J. Tria Tirona, ECY Chairman and Ms. Teresita E. Nitorreda, SCA gained back its national structure and was granted a mandate as a recognized youth organization by the Episcopal Commission on Youth.

INTERNATIONAL AFFILIATIONS

  • International Young Christian Students (IYCS) – with consultative status at UNESCO and UN ECOSOC
  • Philippine Network of Ecumenical Teams (PHILNet)
  • Ecumenical Asia-Pacific Students and Youth Network (EASYNet)

GENERAL ACTIVITIES

SCA is inspired by Cardinal Joseph Cardijn’s methodology SEE-JUDGE-ACT. The same methodology that is used as the REVIEW of LIFE of every SCAn. These activities follow one methodology:

  • National Leadership Conference (Exposure-Reflection-Action/Resolution)
  • Regional Leadership Conference (Exposure-Reflection-Action/Resolution)
  • Cluster or Archdiocesan Conference
  • National Solidarity Day/Day of Prayer for Peace
  • Leadership Youth Camps
  • Symposiums on Various Issues (Political, Educational/Cultural, Socio-Economic-Ecological, Spiritual, Media and Recreational)
  • Socio-Economic-Environmental Related Action Projects (tree planting, coastal clean-up, etc.)
  • Advocacy building

FORMATION PROGRAMS FOR MEMBERS AND YOUTH

Four-Stage Formation toward Full-fledged Membership

  • eSCAPade
  • Cell Meetings (8-session PCM)
  • Basic Orientation Workshop (BOW)
  • Christ the King Leadership Recollection and Oath-taking
  • Chaplains and Animators Formation Exchange (CAFÉ)
  • Animators Team Training

FORMATION PROGRAMS OFFERED TO THE YOUNG PEOPLE

  • Youth Evangelized to Serve (YES)
  • Taize Formation and Prayer

37

Today, we had a thanksgiving mass for the 37 years of love, service and faith of the Pamantasan ng Lungsod ng Maynila – Student Catholic Action (PLM-SCA). Fr. Santosh Kumar Digal from India presided the Holy Eucharist and he said that for our behavior to fit with that of our Lord Jesus, a gesture of humility is fundamental.

Jesus exhorted us to bear witness of our Christian life through our example, the consistency of our life and the honesty of our intentions.

We must behave, mostly, for the sake of our love for God and the glory of the Father. As we can read in the Catechism of the Church, «God created everything for man but man in turn was created to serve and love God and to offer all Creation back to Him».

I would like to commend Liz Manalang, a student servant leader who stood tall amidst great challenges. A torchbearer of the organization whose passion and commitment is a source of inspiration to many. Together with our members, our gratitude to all for keeping the flame always ablaze.

Many thanks to Ate Shionie Tabada, our PLM Campus Minister for all the love and support.

Special shout out to all our alumni all over the world for your unwavering hope in our vision and mission to bring more young people closer to God.

There were times we want to give up but God’s relentless love conquers our fear and our doubts. He is the source of our strength. He is our biggest why – the reason for our being.

Our hearts remain steadfast and full of zeal to continue and to strive harder.

Let us remain faithful and committed.

To more years of loving and serving the Lord!

37

“Lord Jesus, teach me to be generous; to serve you as you deserve to be served; to give without counting the cost; to fight without counting the wounds; to work without seeking the rest; to spend my life without expecting any other reward than the knowledge that I do Your holy will. Amen.” 

A Brief History of SCA

In the Philippines, the Student Catholic Action was founded in 1936. Since then, it has undergone a gradual process of development and expansion. Evolving from a loosely formed city-wide association in the early years it has established itself as a well-knit organization with SCA Units in practically all educational institutions in the Archdiocese of Manila.

Demonstrating adaptability as one of its main assets, SCA first concerned itself with the problem of education in the state university.

It was here that the first unit was formed by Columban Father Edward J. McCarthy in 1936 at the University of the Philippines-Manila. It was formally approved by his grace, Archbishop Michael O’ Doherty on April 12, 1936.

During the occupation era the impetus of the early enthusiasm of SCA maintained the organization for a short time. Registered with the Japanese authorities “SCA for secular colleges and universities,” the organization continued with its regular student Masses but eventually, due to lack of priestly assistance, all activities gradually ceased.

After the war in 1948, with the archbishop’s request in Manila, an immediate objective of establishing religion classes in non-sectarian and public schools was called for. SCA was revived and expanded for the main purpose of providing many catechists required for this work not only in Catholic Schools. SCA then had an increasing influence until such time it did not only focus on catechism but also embraced the SIX AIMS (presently the SCA Areas of Concern).

In 1969, during the heightened student activism on Martial Law Years, student organizations including SCA was banned due to the infiltration of the leftists. Other arch/dioceses however continued the program in their own. CBCP abolished SCA in 1985 and the national coordination was lost. In 1998, CBCP, through the efforts of Bp Rolando J. Tria Tirona, ECY Chairman and Ms. Teresita E. Nitorreda, SCA gained back its national structure and was granted a mandate as a recognized youth organization by the Episcopal Commission on Youth.

Light

I went to the PLM chapel today for the Eucharistic Celebration of the Feast of the Presentation of the Lord presided by Rev. Fr. Lenen E. Deciar, SSS.

Light

Shine forth! The PLM Campus Ministry team all smiles after the first friday mass.

The feast reflects the one light of Christ from different angles and in different ways.

Historically the feast has been known by different names, each stressing a different aspect of the same mystery: the mystery that God has chosen to dwell among us.

Forty days after the birth of Jesus, Mary and Joseph traveled to Jerusalem to present him at the Temple. This was the first time Jesus entered the temple that years later he would cleanse of merchants with great zeal. The same temple where he would teach his disciples and challenge the Pharisees. The same temple where Judas would receive thirty silver coins in return for his betrayal.

Mary and Joseph presented Jesus with grateful hearts and offered the sacrifice prescribed by the Law of Moses for the poor: two young pigeons. God fulfills the prophecy of Malachi when Simeon identifies the child as the awaited Messiah. Simeon’s words at first are joyful and triumphant, “the child is a light for revelation, the glory of Israel,” but then he turns to the Blessed Mother and his tone becomes somber speaking of suffering and sacrifice: “this child will be contradicted and a sword will pierce your heart.”

This feast invites us to celebrate with Simeon that all prophecy has been fulfilled, while at the same time, it invites us to remember that Jesus was born to die as a sacrifice for our sins.

For centuries this feast was known as the Purification of the Virgin Mary, an event we also commemorate today. When a Jewish person had direct contact with blood, the person became unclean and he or she had to undergo religious rites to be purified. Recall the Parable of the Good Samaritan where the priests did not help the dying man for fear of touching blood and becoming impure.

When women give birth, obviously they have contact with blood. The Book of Leviticus prescribed that forty days after giving birth a woman had to be ritually cleansed. Today, forty days after Christmas Day, we commemorate that the Blessed Mother faithfully followed the Law of Moses and was purified. She who was conceived pure, without the stain of sin, obediently offered the called for sacrifice of two pigeons.

This feast invites us to ponder how the Blessed Mother faithfully followed the Law of Moses and went to the Temple with her son to be purified.

Today’s feast has also been called Candlemass throughout the centuries, a celebration of light (or candles). Traditionally candles are blessed on this day, followed by a procession in a darkened church, reminding us of Simeon’s words, that the child born on Christmas day is the “light of the nations.”

This feast invites to recognize Jesus as the light that has come into the darkness to destroy sin and death.

As if this feast didn’t have enough layers, there is one more. Today half of the Catholic world celebrates the feast of Our Lady of the Candle, La Candelaria, who appeared in Spain and devotion to her spread throughout Spain’s colonies in the new world; devotion to her, remains strong in all Latin America.

The one light of Christ is reflected from different angles and in different ways today. The light that shines forth from the mystery that God has chosen to dwell among us cannot be contained. All is renewed, all is transformed, all things are different because God has become man.

The joy of knowing the Messiah, the sorrow of recognizing he will be sacrificed, the blessedness of his mother and his perpetual light that dispels the darkness; all converge on this feast forty days after his birth.

The Church never ceases to proclaim the mystery that God has become man.

The Church never ceases to proclaim that our God who created all things has emptied himself to become like one of his creatures.

As a candle offers itself as a sacrifice to give us pure light, ceasing to exist as its wax melts away, slowly and selflessly dying as it shines for others to have light, so too Our Savior is a light that offers itself in sacrifice so that others may have life.

Candles always accompany the altar of sacrifice, burning themselves to death as a sacrifice, reminding us of the One who died so that we could have life.

May the Lord help us to be candles of his light, dying to our selves, so that the light of Christ may shine brightly in us.

Humility

We celebrate today the Solemnity of the Conversion of St. Paul.

Why is it significant in our relationship with God?

Humility

Seating beside God’s messenger of faith, hope and love. Taken inside the PLM Chapel last year.

Father Bill Carmody shared that before Saint Paul’s conversion he thought he was a very good man. He thought he did everything very, very well. He was full of zeal, convinced of the direction he was taking in life, and was very successful within the scope of the people who mattered to him.

He had no idea that he was very misguided. Then the Lord entered his life, shook him up, blinded him, threw him to the ground and left him confused and unnerved for three days.

Having encountered the Risen Lord he was transformed. He re-evaluated everything in his life and became the most impacting force in the Church other than Jesus Himself. Paul translated the experience of Jesus not only from Aramaic into Greek, but from an Asian mentality to a European mentality. He became the greatest missionary the Church as seen, establishing churches that survive even to this day, and he wrote two thirds of the New Testament.

Paul’s conversion not only changed him; it changed the world.

This brings us to this feast’s application to us. God is calling some people here present to undergo a major change in the way they are living their lives.

All of us, in fact, are being invited by the Lord to undergo some kind of transformation, some form of conversion, some new way of believing and thinking. Wouldn’t you agree that all of us have some kind of obstacle to our following Christ more closely? And wouldn’t we all agree that the mother of all vices is pride? So as we celebrate Paul’s conversion let us take as look at the virtue that conquers pride: humility.

There are 3 different degrees of humility.

The 1st degree of humility is necessary for salvation. It’s having enough humility to stop justifying mortal sin in our lives. It’s the humility needed to recognize that I have this major obstacle in my life, some major sin, that keeps me at a distance from God. And it’s having enough humility to recognize that so far I have been unwilling to do what I need to do to remove this obstacle from my life. Without this 1st degree of humility I make the decision to live with my sin, even to justify it. The 1st degree of humility leads us to say to the Lord, “Not for all the riches in the world would I ever commit a mortal sin.”

The second degree of humility is a move towards holiness. In this state of relationship with the Lord, He, the Lord, has become so important to me that I don’t want to do the least little thing against the Lord. This is not scrupulosity but rather a desire to be one with Christ, to see Him in all things, to encounter him in all the people and events in our lives, a desire to rise above my mediocrity, and not settle for a half-hearted response to the call of Christ. And now we don’t want even venial sins to stand in our way, preventing a clear sight of the Lord who loves us so. This is the state of no longer wanting to disagree with, for instance, the teaching of the Church on the sanctity of life and settle for some compromise between good and evil. This second degree of humility leads us to say, “Not for all the money in the world would I ever want to commit even a venial sin.”

The third degree of humility is a move into true sanctity. In this degree of humility I see myself as part and parcel of all of sinful humanity and I see my call to be among those who are despised, rejected, ostracized, spat upon, and facing extreme oppression, because thus was treated my Lord and Savior. This is the degree of humility that hears the teaching of our Church as the voice of Jesus and embraces it, especially on such tough subjects as there being a need for a redistribution of wealth so there is a greater bond between the rich and the poor. A person who abides in this 3rd degree of humility not only understands, but lives, the Church teaching that says, “No one may appropriate surplus goods solely for his own private use when others lack the bare necessities of life.” (Populorum Progressio, 23)

Oh, how far away from this degree of humility we all are! But now we can see what is the trajectory of holiness the Lord is calling us to. Let us on this feast of Paul’s conversion let us ask the Lord to help us grow in holiness.