Joy is key to ‘true encounter’ – priest

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BACOLOD, May 29, 2014 — As the Church prepares to celebrate World Communications Day, a priest in Bacolod said joy and enthusiasm — more than modern gadgets or new technologies — are the keys to fostering an “authentic culture of encounter.”

“This is what Pope Bene¬dict XVI and Pope Francis has been telling us about the New Evangelization. It is the joy and enthusiasm of our faith that will attract many others to the Good News of Jesus Chris,” said Fr. Dominic Derramas, who also writes for Bacolod’s diocesan weekly newsletter Adsum.

Fr. Dominic Derramas stressed the need for joy and enthusiasm in communications as a form of witnessing. (Photo: Fr. Dominic Derramas Facebook account)

Singing nun

To emphasize his point, the priest gave the example of Cristina Scuccia, popularly known as “Suor Cristina”, a nun of the Ursuline Sisters of the Holy Family. Sister Cristina wears her habit when she performs in the reality-TV show “The Voice of Italy.”

According to Derramas, with the video of the nun’s first performance now ap¬proaching 50 million views and #suorcristina having trended on Twitter, it would be tempting to dismiss her as a “one-hit wonder” and that “the novelty of a singing nun was the reason she made it to the reality show.”

He, however, observed that “discerning watchers rec¬ognize that it is more than her being a nun that makes her pop¬ular. The audience noticed Sister Cristina’s enthusiasm and joyful energy that was refreshing.”
“One coach in the show recognized this,” Derrmas said, “I think that having brought God in the program is extraordinary, because nowa¬days, we do miss the spiritual dimension.”

Joyful witness

Derramas was also happy to note that Suor Cristina is advancing to the finals, having passed the knockout round with a “goosebumps-enducing rendition of Mariah Carey’s “Hero”.

“Win or lose, she has already touched so many lives with her joyful witness.” Derramas added.
“Communication at the service of an authentic culture of encounter” is the theme of the celebration of World Communications Day, which the Church will mark on June 1, the Solemnity of the Ascension of the Lord.

Although the Vatican recognizes the key role the various media like television, radio, and the internet play in communicating with the world, Derramas stressed the need for joy and enthusiasm to “meet and encounter others on a meaningful level.” (Fr. Mickey Cardenas)

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