BIS #6121 DBYS Mumbai Invites Young People to be Social Media Influencers of God

by Father Mylin Noronha for BISMumbai

Don Bosco Youth Services Matunga-Mumbai organised its 'annual Salesian Youth Movement [SYM] meet' via Google Meet on 22 August 2020. Around 25 animators and leaders of the SYM from various Don Bosco institutions of the Mumbai Zone participated in the meet coordinated by DBYS Mumbai Director Father Mylin Noronha with Brother Bryce Fernandes, together with other Salesian youth animators of the zone.

The meeting consisted of 02 parts. The animation part had Father Noronha invite the animators and youth leaders to encourage the young people in their respective institutions to become Influencers of God – Catholic Social Media Influencers who in their own creative way could advertise, market and propagate the Kingdom values among their peers. He offered them a plan that could be applied individually and collectively to engage in digital evangelization and catechesis. Given the present circumstances where the Church at large is making the paradigm shift towards digital ministry, encouraging youth to be Catholic Social Media Influencers not only gives them a platform to showcase their talent, but also engage in fruitful youth ministry.

In the administrative part of the meeting, the participants shared updates of the youth ministry taken up by the various institutions, especially during the lockdown. They also presented some of their plans for the coming months. It was heartening to note that many institutions had organized programmes for fellowship, celebrations, relief work, social outreach, competitions, and catechesis. Many youth groups had initiated regular digital animation programmes in their parishes.

The animators and youth were encouraged to share some programmes they were organizing for their institutions with the entire zone and were also invited to participate in the ‘Tea with Salesians’ Youth Catechesis programme co-ordinated by Father Leon Cruz Ratinam and the monthly Retreatainment organized by DBYS Matunga. The meeting came to a close with Father Noronha offering the support of DBYS for all the youth ministry in the zone to ensure fruitful youth ministry, especially on the digital front.

DBYS President Beverly D'Souza commented, "The SYM leaders meet was a great platform for leaders from the different youth groups to come together and exchange different ideas and events. I learnt a lot of innovative things that the other parishes and youth groups were doing in their Parishes in order to make virtual interactions during the pandemic a lot more fun and engaging, and I wish to incorporate some of those at DBYS as well." SYM animator at St. Dominic Savio PArish Wadala[W], Father Vishal Lopes said, "Even a lockdown can't stop you if you want to work with youth, for youth. The animators together with leaders of youth met and shared thoughts on Zoom!" Durran D'Mello remarked, "We young people can be influencers of God! The meeting helped me to realise that there is so much more that can be done through social media. It's not just about posting, it's also about what and how you are posting. Like to plan the content... to be consistent in posting... And what I feel is more important, is engaging the viewers."