The Episcopal Conference of Malawi (ECM) has entered into an evangelization partnership with Airtel Malawi to bring the gospel closer to people through Short Message Services (SMS).

ECM secretary general Fr. George Buleya confirmed the partnership during preparatory meeting for the Association Member of Episcopal Conference for East Africa (AMECEA) held recently in Lilongwe. The AMECEA meeting is scheduled for 2014 in Malawi.

“To join the service, the subscriber has to register with Airtel Malawi, and start receiving the messages by sending the key word to 51992. The subscriber will start receiving an SMS containing the Readings of the daily Liturgy, as well as a quotation from the Gospel. They will also have an opportunity of receiving current affairs news either from the Episcopal Conference of Malawi or the diocese/archdiocese with which he or she subscribed with,” said Fr. Buleya adding that more details are given on www.ecmmw.org

Pope Paul VI defined evangelization as ‘bringing the Gospel into the social classes of humanity. The Pontifical Council of Social Communications announced on September 29 2012 that the Pope chose social networks as the theme for the Catholic Church’s next World Communications Day.

One of the most important challenges facing the task of evangelisation today is that which is emerging from the digital environment. Pope Benedict XVI calls attention to this particular topic in the context of the Year of Faith…reads a statement communiqué from Vatican on next year’s World Communications Day.

“Such an approach, which will serve to create a more dynamic and humane digital world, requires a new way of thinking. It is not simply a question of how to use the internet as a means of evangelisation, but instead of how to evangelise in a context where the lives of people find expression also in the digital arena,” reads the statement.

The Second Vatican Council’s 1963 decree “Inter Mirifica” called for the establishment of World Communications Day. The decree said the observance is intended to help teach the Catholic faithful how to “spread and defend the truth and foster Christian influence in human society.”

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