Investigating the impact of mass media on catholic youth participation in evangelization in Biikira Parish in light of Inter Mirifica.
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This research paper investigates ways of achieving an active role of Catholic youth of Biikira Parish in the work of evangelization using modern means of communication in light of Inter Mirifica. In this investigation, the researcher investigates the effectiveness of using modern means of communication in the evangelization process especially among the youth. In this investigation, the researcher moved along the guidelines and directions set out in the decree on the means of social communications (Inter Mirifica). The guidelines provided in the decree highlight the necessity of the Church to employ the modern means of communication in the work of evangelization. Consequently, the decree becomes a basic manual for all those involved in the Church’s work of evangelization; similarly, it is a manual for dealing with challenges encountered in the use of the modern means of communication. In this study, the researcher mainly focuses on the youth. This is because the youth are more receptive to modern means of communication. Therefore, when mass media is incorporated in the evangelization process, there is a likelihood of stimulating interest among the youth, the desire and love to participate in the Church’s work of apostolate. Similarly, modern means of communication have so rapidly advanced as to become for many youth, the sole source of news and information to the point that a considerable amount of youths’ time, is occupied and spent in the consumption of modern means of communication. This has been enhanced by modern gadgets of communication which make accessibility to news and information more efficient. With this revolution in the communication field, it is imperative for those involved in Evangelization to tap in this rich technology thrust to easily access her members as the decree observes; It is, therefore, an inherent right of the Church to have at its disposal and to employ any of these media insofar as they are necessary or useful for the instruction of Christians and all its efforts for the welfare of souls. (Inter Mirifica, No. 3). Although the study has particular emphasis on the youth, a considerable proportion of the adults was consulted more especially those who were considered to be in direct contact with the youth. The decree notes; The Church recognizes that these media, if properly utilized, can be of great service to mankind, since they greatly contribute to men's entertainment and instruction as well as to the spread and support of the Kingdom of God. (Inter Mirifica, No. 2) The researcher used the decree on the means of social communication as a basis and foundation for providing guidelines on how to approach the communication field. This paper is divided into five chapters. Chapter one treats the general background of the area of study. Chapter two reflects the value of mass communication in the work of evangelization; how it helps providing knowledge and information about the work of evangelization, how it transmits and establishes values that foster human relations among both the evangelizers and those evangelized. In this chapter, the researcher also reflects on the value of mass media as an agent of change; influencing individuals towards positive living. In the third chapter the researcher gives a description of how the research was conducted, highlighting the instruments that he used in the research and how they were applied. Chapter four presents the findings from the area of the study concerning the relationship between the use of Mass media and its impact in relation to the work of evangelization. This is meant to ensure a successful apostolate through evangelization. The data also looks at how modern means of communication can influence youth ways of life, and that these means can be a very effective tool in the on-going process of evangelization especially among the youths in Biikira parish. And in chapter five, the researcher presents and discusses the key findings of this research project, giving the major implications for the practice in the use of the modern means of communication in the work of evangelization. These he hopes are the practical guidelines to various agents of evangelization that are applicable as regards the proper use of mass media for integral benefit of those who use means of mass media. From the discussions with the youth in the various sub-parishes in Biikira Parish, the notes that there has been an improvement in the perception and understanding of the role played by the modern means of communication especially in making Church apostolate easy. This improvement in the perception is mainly observed among the youth that were contacted and who formed members of the focus group discussions. The Parish priest of Biikira Parish (Fr. Joseph Kawesa) was happy to note that as a result of the of the discussions held with different respondents, there has been an improvement in the way members of the Parish council employ especially mobile phones to communicate. This improvement in the communication process has made his work easier as he no longer needs to travel to every sub-parish to inform catechists about the pastoral program. With improvement in the perception of the role of these media, he now communicates to several catechists using mobile phones. From the findings in this research report, the researcher can rightly conclude that modern means of communication are indispensible means in the work of evangelization in Biikira Parish but also in the entire Church as well. This is due to the fact that they quickly disseminate news and information over a wider area. But also because the Christian faithful, particularly the youth are quickly the wave of technological shift observed in the field of mass communication. Finally, for successful youth apostolate in Biikira Parish the role mass media plays today should be embraced by all those involved in youth apostolate.