Written by: Jenie Gardon, 
             Department of Training and Spirituality of the Heart 

It seems technology is in the blood of millennials as they can easily adapt to the fast-paced development of information and communication technology that we experience today. ‘Everything is instant’-that’s how Generation Y live. And with that, they tend to multi-task and have a very short attention span. This is why they find traditional evangelization boring which in turn result in the declining number of participating youth in the community.

The Catholic Church, on the other hand, struggles to keep pace with the changing times and to adapt the worldview of millennials. As a Catholic organization that serves God through media, we wanted to share with Catholic Church workers the different approaches with which to catch millennials’ attention and interests.

Since mobile android phones are the most accessible and most used gadgets today, we include mobile phones as medium for evangelizing young people.

In this light, the Communication Foundation for Asia conducted its 27th Annual National Catechetical Congress Seminar-Workshop on May 8-11, 2017 with the theme, “Communicating The #Parish: Communion of Communities from the #Millennial’s Perspective”. The seminar-workshop’s goal is to introduce new communication technology and skills to catechists that could serve as platforms for the transmission of the theme to the millennial generation and for them to be able to come up with millennial-friendly catechetical modules on the “Parish” for “blended-learning”.

Fr. Jerome Secillano, executive secretary of the CBCP, was the keynote speaker of this year’s catechetical congress. In his talk, he discussed the role of the parish to the community- to be inclusive for all even to those who belong to the marginalized sector. He also discussed the importance of helping the young generation to grow in their faith, as there is the observation that young people nowadays tend to be self-centered and are thus prone to self-destruction. It is a challenge that the Church should face- to be salt of the earth and the light of the world by leading the millennials to the right path.

Keynote speaker: Fr. Jerome Secillano, executive secretary of the CBCP

Keynote speaker: Fr. Jerome Secillano, executive secretary of the CBCP

To give the participants some idea as to why millennials choose to leave the Catholic Church, we invited Ms. Judy Ann Dob, a former Catholic who found her joy in joining an evangelical Christian community. We also invited John Moses Lazada, who is born Catholic and continue to remain in the Catholic faith. Both share their experiences and their views on the Catholic church which gave the participants ideas on their outputs.

The second day of the congress which saw several seminar-workshops was truly informative, insightful and enriching. In the morning, Ms. Marlyn Angeles delivered her talk about Conversational Intelligence which touches on psychology and can religious educators and catechists on connecting with millennials.

the participants during one of the workshops

the participants during one of the workshops


To break the ice, Nars Fernandez, together with some CFA staff, taught the song “One” to the participants for them to share to their communities. This song is inspired by this year’s CBCP’s theme, ‘The Parish as Communion of Communities’, and was co-written by Ms. Fenomeno as lyricist and Ms. Nars Fernandez as melodist.

The next lecture and workshop was discussed and conducted by Mr. Sean Herbert Sy, head of the Sales department. His talk was entitled ‘#Snapshots: Using Photography for Catechetics’ and by the title itself, he taught the participants the skills of photography using their mobile phones and how they can use is on teaching catechesis.

In the afternoon, Ms. Pie M. Fenomeno delivered a talk entitled, #Soundbytes and #MovieClips: Using Mobile phones for Audio and Video Productions to the participants of mobile photography. She discussed the different techniques the participants can use in order to come up with an audio and video presentation using their mobile phones.

‘Revisiting Traditional Media for Catechetics’ is the title of the next talk discussed by Dr. Rommel Linatoc of the National Council of Churches in the Philippines (NCCP) Teatro Ekyumenikal. Together with some of his students, they performed and discussed how Theater and Music can be used in teaching Catechetics. Dr. Linatoc’s students belong to the millennial generation that’s why he also shared his experiences on how he was able to gather these people primarily by catching their interest in performing arts while serving God and His people.

Community photo of 27th Catechetical Congress

Community photo of 27th Catechetical Congress

To wrap up all the discussions of that day, Fr. Ben Alforque, MSC head of the Department of Training and Spirituality of the Heart (DTSH) delivered his talk ‘Integration for “Blended Learning” in Catechetics. He discussed how the participants can incorporate the different techniques and skills they learned during that day. He also discussed the psychology of the millennials which can be their guide in order to catch the young generations’ interests.

During the remaining days of the congress, the participants presented their outputs and showcased the skills and techniques they have learned from the seminar-workshop.

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Communication Foundation for Asia is a pioneer in development communication. It was established in 1968 as a non-stock, non-profit organization, but its origins go way back to 1960, when the Social Communications Center was born with the publication of the Philippine Catholic Digest. Both organizations were founded by the Dutch missionary, Fr Cornelio Lagerwey, MSC, in collaboration with his mission partner Genaro V. Ong.

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