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Oceania

2013-01-29

OCEANIA/PAPUA NEW GUINEA - Consecrated people: communication and evangelization via mobile phone

Madang (Agenzia Fides) - The mobile phone is now an essential tool in the life of consecrated people (priests and nuns) in Papua New Guinea for communication, evangelization, relationship, comparison, transmission of faith: is what emerges from the Sister Rosalia Milur’s research, of the Congregation of the Franciscan Missionary Sisters of the Immaculate Conception (MFIC), titled "the use of the mobile phone in religious life." The research - the subject of a thesis on "Social and Religious Studies " at the Divine Word University in Madang - estimates that "mobile phones affect the lives of the community, have become an essential tool of the religious." The use, says to Fides Sister Rosalia, "provides access to rural and remote communities," however, among the potential dangers "it can lead to not have time for the essential elements of the consecrated life, such as personal and community prayer."
The nun observed the behavior of 42 religious (29 males and 13 females) selected among the dioceses of Aitape, Wewak, Rabaul, Madang, Mt Hagen and Port Moresby. Some use the phone to send prayer text messages to the faithful or to pray with the sick in distant places. "Sometimes, however, a religious is so in love with the phone that nothing else matters," said one among those who were interviewed, noting the need to "not take time away from community life."
A religious said that once he used the mobile phone to save a life by contacting an ambulance for a patient who was very ill, in a rural area. Especially in the field of technology, concludes the research, everything depends on the use: the mobile phone is now a necessary tool for the pastoral care of the religious, but their use should not be excessive. (PA) (Agenzia Fides 29/01/2013)

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