Marketing spiritual services
HINTS AND TRACES - Fr. Roy Cimagala (The Freeman) - July 14, 2018 - 12:00am

It is not a matter of indulging in commercialization of things spiritual and of religion and piety. That would be simony, a no-no. But given the temper of the times, we need to be more pro-active in promoting the spiritual services, such as the sacraments, and others like spiritual counseling and spiritual direction.

I believe we need the spiritual things the most, the very means of our sanctification and of developing a lifestyle that would lead us to our eternal life, should rank first.

They should not be confined to restricted means of promotion, like word of mouth or putting notices on bulletin boards of churches, etc. In fact, we cannot anymore depend solely on homilies to do this. These spiritual services can and should be more visible and audible in the media also.

I am sure we can generate a lot of interest for them. With many people entangled in complicated situations and predicaments, they  will soon realize there are other effective ways of tackling them other than the usual material means, like pills, food supplements, exercise, etc.

We cannot deny that many people have bad habits, vices, and addictions --like alcohol, drugs, sex, even internet and games, etc. Self-abuse, pre- and extra-marital sex are rampant. Corruption and greed are now into epidemic proportions. Depression and mental illness are increasing at a frightening rate.

There is a very big market out there of people who will benefit from spiritual services like the sacraments of confession, Holy Eucharist, spiritual direction, and counseling, etc., can actually offer relief that attend more to the more important constituent of our nature, which is our spiritual soul. If people only knew the effectiveness of these spiritual services!

We have to make everyone understand the priority that the care of our spiritual soul has over that of our physical body, without disparaging the latter’s importance. It is in the state of our spiritual soul where the ultimate quality of our life is actually determined. This is actually a point that needs to be explained more.

We need to do a lot to advertise the benefits of spiritual services. And we can do this by using advertising for radio, TV, and even online. There is now a lot of marketing being done online.  Let us hope we can count on competent people to do this. The clergy should lead the way, but the laypeople can and should be highly involved. With their exposure to the real world and their creativity, many laypeople can be most effective.

Appropriate gimmicks, slogans, and even the so-called “hugot” lines can be used --anything that can grab attention. We should not forget the traditional means of promoting these spiritual services, but neither should we be stuck with them.

Times have changed, and some people do not feel at home anymore with traditional means. We need to adapt to the times. We may have to change some attitudes and acquire new skills for this.

Let’s hope that the spiritual services can be made mainstream in the world of media!


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