Filipino priest uses TikTok to preach, inspire others
Combination photo shows Fr. Fiel Pareja doing the "Wipe It Down Challenge" and spreading Bible teachings.

Filipino priest uses TikTok to preach, inspire others

Kathleen A. Llemit (Philstar.com) - March 31, 2021 - 5:22pm

MANILA, Philippines — TikTok is all about trends. The app is a haven for those who want to flex their dubbing and acting skills, show off their dance moves, and share their culinary journey and expertise.

A Filipino priest, however, found it to be an effective medium to spread Bible teachings and uplift the spirit of his viewers.

Fr. Fiel Pareja had just been ordained a month prior to the lockdown last year. He was happy to be finally be able to preach the "Good News" to people through face-to-face meetings and daily masses.

"My ordination happened a month before lockdown due to pandemic. Full of excitement, I was hoping that I would discharge my ministry as a priest with people physically, face-to-face; celebrating Holy Mass and administering the sacraments 'physically' with them. To my surprise, it didn't happen. God led me to do my priestly ministry with the faithful in a different way and setting which I didn't imagine at first," he shared.

The newly ordained priest did not lose hope, but instead turned to technology to reach even more people.

"It was on the month of May that I began my TikTok journey. My nephew introduced to me this platform. At first, I was hesitant having in mind 'baka magulat sila nag TikTok ang pari' so I disregard her [sic] persuasion," he said.

The priest knew his calling and to be able to do it, he needed to adapt and improvise. His first TikTok video uploaded on May 26, 2020 featured him joining the "Wipe It Down Challenge" where his garments and vestments "magically" changes with every "wiping" action he does.

His succeeding videos are all about him saying prayers for concerns like healing, peace, contentment and dealing with fear. He also religiously updates daily Bible verses, especially this Holy Week.

To date, Fr. Fiel has 1.4 million followers and 30.4 million likes.

"Social platform plays an important role during this worldwide health crisis. Through it, we can reach out to one another and can assure each one that they are not alone in their journey," Fr. Fiel said.

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