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Not Just Computers

{ Tags: None \ Oct13 }

A friend who has been following my “career” on the web wrote to me on the occassion of the reopening of AngFrayle

Pare, paiba-iba ayos ng website mo, at paganda ng paganda. Parang hindi ka na pari ah! (Friend, your website changes ever so often, and it looks better all the time.) You seem to be more of a web technocrat now than a friar. Is this your way of coping with the limitations imposed on you by celibacy? Or is it — pardon me for this — your substitute for masturbation?

I laughed out loud the first time I read the email. The writer is a friend whom I’ve known since high school. This fragment from a longer email (which deals mostly with his married life and role as a father) seems to assume that what I do all the time revolves around the web and computers. To a certain extent, that could be affirmed. I do spend a lot of time with the computer and the web. In fact my daily routine as a friar and assistant parish priest also includes an “internet routine”. This latter includes the following online activities:

  • checking AgustinongPinoy, AngFrayle, Otium Sanctum and Res Biblica for spams
  • answering emails sent through the above websites (not too many)
  • updating Res Biblica and Otium Sanctum and posting blogs at Blogit
  • reading blogs at Blogit, WordPress.Com and Blogger (periodically, about twice a week for each site) and the news at Digg
  • participating at the Frihost forums (to keep the parish news site free) and the ChristianForums
  • downloading software and making reviews for them (for Blogit and the WebLab)

Related to the above are the following offline activities:

  • preparing articles for Otium Sanctum and Res Biblica (this, on a regular basis)
  • writing software reviews (with screenshots and even tutorials sometimes)

The above computer-and-internet routine are not self-contained; they are not wholly distinguishable from what I do as a friar and an assistant parish priest. Sometimes, parishioners approach me after reading an article or a blog I’ve posted on the web. This is true especially with articles I’ve posted at the Otium Sanctum and Res Biblica. Just last week, someone asked me about the religious life and the priesthood after reading some of my old articles at AngFrayle . In sum, my work in the web allows me to reach a lot more people than I can just being at the parish.

But that is not all…

Work at the parish has allowed me to bring the wealth of the web into preaching (daily, during the evening mass) and catechism.

My daily routine at the parish is quite limited. Real work comes during Fridays until Sunday. This is the period in the week where we have a lot of meetings and ritual activities, apart from the masses. The rest of the week, we just make ourselves available to anyone who would like to avail of our services. And since our parishioners are mostly students and working parents, there is practically no one who would approach us from Mondays to Thursdays except those few who have made the parish church part of their daily routine. This leaves me time to do the following also:

  • visit the parishioners who live along the railway
  • give pre-baptismal instructions to converts into the Catholic Church (at the moment there are two. More about this later.)

In sum, my daily life is not just about computers and the internet. But I must admit that with parish life, what other way is there for me to keep busy if not by venturing into the web to extend my parish work?

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