Seminaries are hubs of future priests. Whenever I hear the word “seminary” I am always conditioned to see people dressed in religious habits – praying, studying and meditating. But with the emergence of mass media culture, hearing anything about seminary life does not seem to click on media-conscious people. What clicks is the presence of “i”, implying a center, institution or a hub of people interacting with media. On the document Guide to the Training of Future Priests on the Instruments of Social Communications, the “i” seems to have significance to future priests after all. After all, I see that “i” extends to seminaries, to future priests.
I am a seminarian, yet I have a good acquaintance with computers. Almost every day, I engage with gadgets, from computers to LCD projectors. But I engage with a purpose: to ensure that the whole seminary community benefits from mass media, as well as for my formation. I engage with gadgets for purposes of my academics, assistance in liturgical celebrations, seminary publications, assistance to my companions, as well as personal enrichment. I know very well that a “raw” use of computer may result to time-wasting. That is why I make it my discipline that when I finish my purpose in using the computer, I leave the computer at once. Even though some call me “the techie guy” because of my familiar knowledge of computers, I still put priority in my prayer life, since it is important for me to communicate with God. I always make sure that when I work with these gadgets, I always let my work be a prayer.
It is nice that the Church can benefit from the means of social communications, since these means are fruits of man’s astounding genius and creativity. The presence of this so-called media technology signifies man’s response towards the gap between cultures. Yet the Church recognizes that every communication must lead to communion. It is in this way that the Church is interested to use this media technology to unify peoples around the world.
That is why the document was meant for the seminarians because, first of all, I see that future priests will be the future heralds of the Good News of the Lord. If the Lord has commanded us to go forth and preach the Good News, my reaction as a seminarian would be to have a sense of urgency, that is, an ardent response to let all people know the Good News. It goes then without saying that even seminarians and priests must be updated about the present situation. This means that as seminarians and priests, we must be responsible stewards of media technology. If we are to let people know the Good News, then our use of mass media must also be for the Good News. Even how we use the mass media affects our commitment towards Good News. Given the opportunity, priests and seminarians can be: