Good Samaritans or indifferent bystanders? Another testimonial from the Faith Communication group

Good Samaritans or indifferent bystanders? Another testimonial from the Faith Communication group

By Anastasia Pinto (Faith Communication in the Digital World project), , India


“Evangelization is a process of bringing the Gospel to people where they are, not where you would like them to be… When the Gospel reaches a people where they are, their response to the Gospel is the Church in a new place” - Vincent Donovan,  "Christianity Discovered"

Donovan's timeless wisdom resonates profoundly in our digital era, where people predominantly inhabit the realm of smartphones, devices, and the internet. In this landscape, the mandate of Jesus, as recorded in Mark 16:15, echoes with renewed urgency: 'Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation.' Today it is very possible for us to go into the world and reach out as baptized individuals called to be missionary disciples[i] to people where they are at. The mission field being the Virtual realm we are called to embody the fullness of Christ's presence there.


A transformative experience

And one course which has enriched and renewed my zeal for mission through digital evangelisation is the course 'Faith Communication in the Digital World: A Synodal Perspective' offered by the Dicastery for Communication, Holy See. This transformative experience encompassed a power packed year of profound learning and encounters, featuring online training sessions, collaborative group work, enlightening presentations by esteemed speakers, and interactions with zealous digital missionaries.

What I take back from this journey is an experience of a lifetime, an experience of faith being deepened, an experience of joy being renewed, an experience of spiritual enriching conversations with likeminded friends & team members in Christ though from different countries and cultures of Asia but fully one in the spirit. Through tough times of despair in my personal life this journey of faith came as a blessing with people rich in faith having encouraged me to move out of anxiety and hope again in the Lord. The enriching and encouraging voices every Fridays during our online plenary meetings, the smiles and uplifting words of spirit filled young individuals now my dearests’ friends in faith, the deep and rich words of every speaker, the joy filed residential week at Rome and the testimonies of numerous lives has increased my love for the Faith, the Church and a renewed experience of Jesus’ love for me.

Through this course, I delved into the essence of communion, embarking on a synodal journey that transcended geographical and cultural boundaries. The highlights of this experience include the privilege of meeting and seeking the blessings of His Holiness Pope Francis and the invaluable lessons learned through, collaborative group projects, which challenged me to navigate the complexities of virtual teamwork while remaining guided by the Holy Spirit.


The joy of spreading the Gospel

This journey has not only deepened my faith but also reignited my joy in spreading the Gospel. It has equipped me to be a proactive participant in the digital sphere, transforming me from a mere bystander into a digital Samaritan[ii], extending compassion and kindness to all encountered online.

As we navigate the cultural landscape of today, it is imperative for the Church to heed Jesus' directive to be present in the 'field' where humanity dwells. In the Words of Paolo Ruffini: “Social media has the power to build a better world and "The Church needs to go down to the ‘field,’ something which Jesus told us to do, noting it is impossible to not be present. It is the culture, nowadays, and where there is man, there, the Church needs to be present."[iii] In this age of pervasive digital culture, our presence and proclamation of the Gospel are indispensable, reflecting our commitment to embody the love and compassion of Christ in every corner of the virtual world and creating a Holy Healing Space online.

Concluding with these encouraging words of Pope Paul VI...

         The means of social communication enable the Good news to reach large number of audiences. He clearly stated that “The Church would feel guilty before the Lord if she did not utilize these powerful means that human skill is daily rendering more perfect.”  - St. Pope Paul VI (Evangelii Nuntiandi, 1975: 45)

Media offers an unlimited future for the Church. It must have a human profile, but always with a spark of divine.

Ps. Make sure we have a spark of the divine in our profiles!


[i] “By virtue of Baptism we become ‘missionary disciples,’ called to bring the Gospel to the world (cf. Apostolic Exhortation ‘Evangelii Gaudium,’ n. 120).

[ii] 52) Even on social media, “we have to decide whether to be Good Samaritans or indifferent bystanders. Towards Full Presence 52-53

[iii] Paolo Ruffini: Social media has the power to build a better world

21 March 2024