For a predominantly Catholic country like the Philippines, the recent report bared by the the National Statistics Office (NSO) which states that of the 74 million Filipinos who were identified as Roman Catholics, which accounts for 80 percent of the entire Philippine population, only 20 percent, or around 15 million Filipinos attend Mass on a regular basis.
According to a report on GMA 7’s Saksi, there are more churchgoers—especially among the youth—during Simbang Gabi than on Sundays which is considered by the Catholic Church as a day of obligation among Catholic laity.
Youth Director of the Diocese of Cubao Fr. Rey Paglinawan said that Misa de Aguinaldo or Misa de Gallo, which is held for nine consecutive days starting on December 15 to 24, attracts the young ones primarily because they coincide with the ‘gimmick hours.’
The diocese, however, find it hard to encourage people especially the younger generation to attend mass during regular church activities like Sunday mass and other obligatory events.
Radio Veritas President Fr. Anton Pascual puts the blame on ‘secularism or prioritizing worldly pleasures for the continuing decline of the number of practicing Roman Catholics in the Philippines, especially among the youth,’ even as he said that this accounts as the number one enemy of “faith.”
Meanwhile, youth director Paglinawan pointed out that there are several things to consider to invite more young people to the church to include the use of social media which has become a popular tool of information dissemination nowadays.
Internet, he said, has now been transformed as a venue to evangelize people specifically the youth who are mostly considered as main users of social media sites.
In 2012, the Catholic Church launched the first-ever Catholic Social Media Summit to solicit massive involvement of the youth in spreading the Gospel via the various social networking sites like Facebook, Twitter and others.
From then, the event has become a regular activity of the Catholic Church which aimed to solicit youth involvement and participation towards evangelical activities.