Joseph Peter Calleja, Manila
Updated: May 24, 2021 07:27 AM GMT
Filipino catechist Alberto Saldajeno uses puppets to teach catechism and voice social concerns in Philippine society.
A catechist in the Philippines has started teaching catechism and commenting on social issues to young Catholics on social media using puppets and theater.
Alberto Saldajeno is posting five-minute video clips on YouTube called Kwentismo, or “storyism,” aimed at making the Catholic faith interesting and appealing to mostly children studying online.
Saldajeno has been using puppets that look like Christ and the Virgin Mary among others to ask and answer questions about the Catholic faith and to talk to young Catholics about pressing social issues in the Philippines such as Covid-19 and extrajudicial killings.
In his clips, he has also criticized top government officials like President Rodrigo Duterte and asked viewers to pray for them.
“Let us preach the Good News to these people because they have been Christians or followers of Christ but in their lives they are not doing their obligation as good leaders,” Saldajeno said in one video.
The Filipino catechist has also touched on other topics to send social messages such as the spread of fake news and corruption in a simple way so young Catholics Catholic can understand them better.
If you are sharing lies on Facebook, then you are not on the side of the truth
“Believers of Christ should not be selfish and must always spread the truth. We need to say what is true,” he said in one clip.
Saldajeno also encourages young Catholics to maximize technology to spread the Catholic faith and see how it affects the everyday lives of people.
“Use your cellphone and computers to spread what is true. If you are sharing lies on Facebook, then you are not on the side of the truth. You are not doing something that is Christian,” he said in another clip.
Father Emmanuel Afable of Sorsogon Diocese welcomed Saldajeno's efforts, saying he was responding to the Church’s call to use social networking to bring about social change.
In 2017, the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines published “Pastoral Guidelines on the Use of Social Media” as a tool for evangelization.
“The internet can help us to be better citizens … The internet can be used wisely to build a society that is healthy and open to sharing,” said the bishops, quoting Pope Francis' message on World Communications Day in 2016.
Other catechists said Saldajeno’s videos were a good idea.
“Using puppets to teach online catechism is very creative but requires a lot of creativity. To catechists like me who can do some improvisation, it’s a model I will try and follow,” Manila catechist Aida Osimas told UCA News.
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