05/05/2016, 13.42
PAKISTAN
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The joy of the Gospel on social media: the new mission of the Sisters of Lahore

by Kamran Chaudhry

The Pakistani church has created a series of meetings to educate  religious sisters about online mission for the World Communications Day, on May 8th. At the beginning of the month, 23 sisters participated in a conference with themed blogs and websites: "We have a vocation also as citizens of the worldwide web".

Lahore (AsiaNews) - Teaching religious how to use social media, a useful tool to boost mission, communicate the faith and give rise to new vocations. This is the purpose of the "Conference on online directives for Catholic nuns" held last May 1 in Lahore.

The event, which was attended by 23 women, was the first of a series of initiatives designed by the local Church ahead of World Day of Social Communications marked by the Vatican for the upcoming May 8, entitled "Communication and mercy: a fruitful encounter ".

Every year, marking the Day, the Pakistani Church prepares flyers and brochures themed on communication. This year, Sister Athens Angeles and the Daughters of St. Paul held a lesson for their sisters, encouraging them to open personal blogs and use social networks with missionary purpose. "The online progress of the sisters - says Sr. Athens - means the possibility of new vocations, better understanding of the mission at a local level, elevation of the dignity of women, opportunities for dialogue with the modern world and greater support to pastoral work".

During the seminar, the Oscar-winning documentary “A Girl In The River” was screened, which tells of a religiously motivated honor killing in Pakistan. "I hope that the sisters will watch it again - says the sister of Filipino origins - so they can better understand that it is very difficult to take a position when there are such opposite visions. Being religious, our ideal frame of mind is that of the Gospel. As spiritual online guidelines, it is important to have a point of view on the current situation in the country and the laws that affect the most vulnerable communities, especially women”.

Since not all religious congregations can afford the creation of a dedicated website, explains Sister Athens, "the active use of social media and blogs is essential to share the joy of serving the Lord through our works."

Following the lecture, the Sisters of Charity of Jeanne Antide Thouret opened their first blog. The sisters run a home for people with disabilities or mental illnesses in Lahore. "We want to encourage young sisters to use the media wisely - says regional superior Sister Hend Salloum - even through the right choice about which photos to publish and what to write. The conference gave us the opportunity to discover our mission as citizens of the worldwide web”.

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