FORMED.org, The Netflix Of Catholic Media #FORMED

For someone like me who belong to this so-called millennial generation, I am so glad that I am given the opportunity to embrace all this modern technology which made everything a lot easier. All the information we need can be accessed over the internet; communications are being done faster because of the gadgets and smart phones that we can bring anywhere we go! The impact of these modern technologies in our society is really overwhelming. The game app “Pokemon Go” for an instance, is a perfect example on how much a modern gaming application can affect people and how much it can change someone else’s lifestyle. Imagine how much time people spent to play this game compare to their usual routine prior to the release of this application? I am not against this game (I am in fact, a big fan of Pokemon) but don’t you think this game greatly affects the user’s productivity?
I am not going to discuss about this game but the current status of our churches, the challenge they are facing today, the way they adapt with this modern changes and the new ways and tools they are using to evangelize. I recently came across an article before regarding with the greatest challenges that our churches are facing today. One of the challenges is how can a parish invite and encourage millennials to attend a mass and if ever this group of people attended a mass, how can they effectively improve their spiritual condition. Most youngsters today are more engage with their gadgets and they often forgot to offer their time to God. Most of them do not even know how to offer a prayer. In this kind of situation, what do you think a parish should do? Do they need to step up or to leverage their teaching? Is it really necessary to change? Is it really the right time for the parishes to embrace the modern technology as an effective tool to approach the millenials?IMG_0747t
Few weeks ago, someone introduced me this website, FORMED.org. It is basically a website that is mainly designed for Parish and parish leaders, a page where they can gather all the resources they need for church evangelization and faith formation. I recently learned that FORMED is a program launched by Lighthouse Catholic Media in partnership with Ignatius Press and others. It is a fee-based site which means, a user should subscribe in order to get the full access. Once an access is granted, you will now have the opportunity to view all the resources they provide from movies, audios and books and even online programs. The site is geared towards parishes. Once a parish is subscribed, the Parish leader can provide access to every person in the parish. A Parish leader can provide the given Code to everyone who wants to access it whether you are non-Catholic or non practicing catholic. Parish monthly price is less than my monthly TV bill while Individual price is just like a Netflix monthly subscription, thus they called it as the Catholic Netflix!
So What’s in the Site (FORMED.org)
I am grateful enough to get an access to its demo version and I can clearly see how beneficial this website could be not just for a Parish but also for individuals like me who seeks for spiritual enlightenment. As soon as you enter the site, you are free to navigate but you will find four main tabs such us Programs, Movies, Audio and Books.
Programs include different study materials for faith formation and church evangelization. It includes session videos from Augustine Institute’s Symbolon, bible study materials, Sacramental preparation, discipleship group discussions, Youth discipleship, and more.
Movies will feature huge collection of full-length catholic movies while Audios features recorded inspirational talks from various well known theological speakers discussing various topics from Prayer of Spirituality, Catechism, conversion stories and more. The Book session on the other hand, provides an overwhelming amount of eBooks brought by Ignatius Press.
It is also interesting to note that they also feature “Webinars” where a subscriber can register and join the discussion. The content of the site will be updated on a regular basis as well. As you can see, it is more like a one stop shop not just for parishes but also for individuals. Here’s what it looks like from mobile!

I was actually planning to interview our Parish priest and also a missionary but I was not able to do so because of their conflicting schedules so I might have a part two of this post to share their own reactions regarding with this new platform of Catholic media. I’m going to post the questions here anyway but the answers will come from my own point of view.
How Challenging It is for a church to adapt in this digital age and what kind of approach does a parish provide to encourage millenials to do their duties as a Christian?
Let’s look at the kind of impact made by the Pokemon Go, this is actually a proof on how much a simple app can influence the society. For me, it is really a challenge for our churches to catch the attention of many as they are often engage in so many things especially on the web. We got many social media networks that will keep our focus away. If attending a mass for example, you will notice people who keep themselves busy with their phones rather than listening to a homily. You see, even people are attending mass in a regular basis, their spiritual condition are not being improved. I’m not really sure about the kind of approach that our churches are doing today or if there is any, but I guess modernization and leveraging their teachings could be a great help. Our Parish priest for example is making his homily visually engaging by showing pictures and even videos during his talks which drag the attention of the youngsters and made them absorb what the homily is all about.
What do you think about this new digital platform? Do you think our church is ready enough to embrace this kind of technology? Do you think this could be an effective tool for a parish to evangelize?
I personally think that this platform is very beneficial not just for a parish but for individuals who want to learn more and who are seeking for spiritual enlightenment. This platform will broadened the ability of a church to spread the word of God. Everyone can access it no matter where they are. I believe that our churches are ready enough to embrace this kind of technology. Lighthouse Catholic Media has tested it in different parts of the world and the program worked effectively for the parishes so why not here in the Philippines right? Filipinos are known to be religious on the first place and I think it will not be hard for us to adapt in such kind of method.
As far as the effectiveness is concern, I would like to apply this quote “No matter how many resources you have, if you do not know how to use them, it will never be enough”. The resources that you can get from this site are just visual and auditory guides but it is still up to you on how you will absorb everything you can learn from them. I personally think that FORMED.Org is a great site and is applicable whether you are Catholic or not. It is very useful for your very own spiritual enlightenment. You’ll find great topics that tackles about marriage and how to strengthen its foundation, topics about wide range of Youth problems, depressions and more!
Oh and please take note that this is not a sponsored post! Everything here Is based on my own opinion and I really encourage you guys to check on this site and see everything it has to offer!

16 thoughts on “FORMED.org, The Netflix Of Catholic Media #FORMED”

  1. Sabine says:

    How great this app is. Especially for Catholics. Pokemon is nothing for me. I find it pretty strange these days that people are chasing their pokemons while I’m chasing my dreams 🙂

  2. Hi,You are sharing quality stuff at your website for your audience. I love your website.Very nice information, Keep up your good work.

  3. Jojo Vito says:

    great! it’s true, today evangelists or any other religious organization must embrace technology to be more effective 🙂

  4. Badet Siazon says:

    I think this is nice that the church is thinking of ways on how to reach out to the millenials. I’m guilty of not giving time for my spiritual being too, I’ll look into this site.

  5. Franc Ramon says:

    This is good for catholics to find a medium for millennials. They could really more to this.

  6. Nya says:

    While I play Pokemon Go, I am not exactly obsessed and since I pretty much only leave it on while I am walking, then it’s not like it affects my productivity as I still have to do my 20min walk every day to the train, and then another 20 from the train to work 🙂 Also I think it’s pretty ridiculous that they had to put ‘warnings’ on the app, which are in fact ‘common sense’ warnings such as ‘do not play while driving’. I mean, do people really need an app to tell them that they shouldn’t use their phone when not driving? But back to the topic, yes, definitely people spend way too much on gadgets, and this website sounds like a great initiative. Nice of you to share, specially since, as you said, it does seem to suit many of us, not only the Catholics.

  7. I have a few reservations about the Church adapting to the technology they had once shunned as memory serves. But it is still a good thing that they would want to adapt technology for their benefit.

    1. I don’t remember the Church shunning technology at all. The Church contributed to a lot of what we are now using. This link might help you with your memory http://www.catholicherald.co.uk/news/2011/05/06/what-the-church-has-given-the-world/

      Going back to FORMED, as a tool for evangelization, I can see that this has a lot of benefits for all people whom the Church could not reach. Everyone can study about their faith at the tip of their fingers just by accessing it on their phones. I hope this program will spread here in the Philippines.

  8. ROBERT LEE says:

    Tama ka Milton. Apps today is an integral part of our life and so it is an app too, that can be used to provide information for people who are seeking spiritual activities such as going to churches.

    Formed will probably be the first of many to come in the future as the church begins to embrace technology. A far cry from decades ago when some religious personalities are denouncing the Internet as satan.

  9. Nicole P says:

    It is honestly true that the church needs to up their game and start embracing technology in their teachings. I’m happy that they’re already starting on that. 🙂 I did remember this one parish priest who got scolded for using a hoverboard while having his homily. Which I don’t really get why… do you have any opinion about it? Thanks 🙂

  10. Yep, one effective way of propagating is thru mobile phones. It’s cool that even the catholic church is jumping into technology to reach out.. Well, who would not take advantage of, when it is easier to enter other person heart thru their mobiles than talking face to face..

  11. Klaudia says:

    Brilliant post , well what else to expect from Blue Dreamer?! The whole technology thing is so ambivalent , it can be amazingly good but on the other hand as bad. Spoken about this PokemonGo nonsense , the governments here in Europe are about to ban that app as people are risking their lives and the life of others at the same time. Wherever you go , you don’t really see people’s faces anymore as they are all too busy on their mobile devices. That to me is a very sad side effect of 2016 technology.

  12. This is very helpful! I’m glad Formed was able to do this, many needs this. And yes, on Pokemon Go, I really don’t have any interest in that one. You’re right, I can only imagine how much time they had to spend playing and chasing for that Pokemon.

  13. I’m not a Catholic so I don’t think I will be using the app to access on Catholic resources. However, I’m a follower of Jesus too and we are embracing technology now by utilizing apps for reading the Bible. I also use an app for my devotion. With the advent of technology, I do think everyone should embrace
    that kind of technology whether ready or not. It is an effective tool to learn more about Jesus’ teachings.

  14. Fenrile says:

    I agree with about Pokemon GO and unfortunately, people forgot common sense with this game. Playing Pokemon GO while driving is the same as texting. Also, who’d break into a house to take a Pokemon, even though it’s a bit far fetched since Pokemon appears randomly next to the location. Also, when I go somewhere now, instead of walking and watching the ground, I just have my phone in hand to hatch my eggs and check if any pokemons are on my way. Anyway, I’m not a religious person, but I respect the people who are and I think religious is needed and it’s good for the people who needs it and wants it. But nowadays, when we live in a world dominated by science and technology, I think religious as to follow this path and be on the page. The world evolves and religion has to do so as well. Unfortunately, we know from the terrorism that ISIS for example, uses Social Media and other internet tools to attract and misguide people. There can be cyber-bullying and other bad things on the internet. Because in the end, it’s an infinite place where human being liberate everything in him, anonymously with taboos. I think religions musts step up, shows to everyone they are connected with the rest of the world by using social medias and other internet tools, and to keep praising the message of peace they always carried on, but that today, they must adapt to the world to keep carrying this message. This app seems great, and the world needs more apps like that and more social media and more communication to touch everyone connected and religious or not, to bring a message of peace. Because that’s the most important that matters, is peace

  15. Maria says:

    I think religious and devout Catholics will find this very helpful. I think this could enlighten kids studying in Catholic schools as well. With Pokemon Go, before I was really liking it since it was like reliving childhood but nowadays, I get bored with it. It’s also tiring.

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