Paula VegaIt is essential that we succeed in answering the vital questions".

Paula Vega (Llamameyumi) is a digital missionary and theology student who uses social media to evangelize.

Paloma López Campos-December 22, 2022-Reading time: 4 minutes
Paula Vega with her fiancé

Paula Vega and her fiancé (Photo: Carmen Vallejo)

Paula Vega, in social networks "llamameyumi"She is a professor of Religion and a student of Theological Sciences. She is also dedicated to evangelizing on social networks, she is what we know as a digital missionary. Not only does she share her daily life, in her content we find a contagious lived faith. In this article we bring you an interview she gave to Omnes.

Why did you start evangelizing in social networks?

- It was not an overnight decision, but rather something progressive. Like any young person, I shared my day-to-day life on social media without any pretense. As faith became more important, the more that was reflected in my posts. I started by sharing the day to day life in the parish, reflections on faith and later some things I was learning in theology. The response from people was very positive and the followers began to grow. Through prayer and reflection, I felt that I could contribute something from my perspective as a young woman and theology student, and I decided to take it more seriously. 

The Internet is a massive medium in which, it seems, the content is almost always negative and far removed from Christian values. How can we avoid drowning in this bombardment of content?

- In the workshops I give on the evangelization In networking for young people, I explain to them that a Christian attitude on the Internet is also based on being aware of the people we follow. If I follow superficial accounts that incite violence or make fun of others, that is what I will be receiving during the time I use the networks, which is usually a long time. Creating a space on my own cell phone for positive, contributing content is my own responsibility. As parents and catechists, I think it is good to talk to children about this and offer them accounts with quality content. Thank God today we have a lot of digital missionaries on all platforms that make very attractive content.

Paula's social networks

You are a student of Theology, is it a call that arises from a need to address your work as a digital missionary or is it something deeper?

- My call to theology came much earlier, after a process of reconversion in which I saw myself called to something else. Now that I see it in perspective, in my life one cannot be understood without the other. Theology allows me to speak in networks about certain topics that people demand because they are looking for answers. At the same time, being in contact with young and distant people forces me to look for ways to update theological language in order to bring them closer. 

You are in charge of formation in a group, you attend to young people between 14 and 18 years of age, you are a member of the Vocational Pastoral... What deficiencies do you see in the religious formation of the youngest? What do you think they need?

- First, to begin with the formation of the catechists and teachers themselves. Now that I am studying theology, I realize the mistakes I used to make or the things I used to think and transmit because I did not have enough formation. Secondly, we have to start from the interests they have at each stage of their lives. It is fundamental that we manage to respond to the vital questions they have, because only in this way does faith take on a profound meaning. Third, we must make formation attractive. It is not the same to talk to them about the parts of the Mass with a static talk, than with a kahoot, for example. Or to talk about ecumenism with a presentation, instead of participating in a meeting with young people of other confessions. It is necessary to be creative and look for the most appropriate ways.

You have spoken several times about mental health, do you think that this area is sufficiently worked on by the Church? What do you think still needs to be achieved?

- It is true that there has been a marked improvement in the dialogue on mental health in society and, therefore, this has been transmitted to the Church. Nevertheless, I believe that in some sectors mental health problems continue to be associated with a lack of faith or trust in God. Psychological therapy is thought to cancel out spiritual accompaniment, or vice versa, but the two are necessary and complementary. Without mental health there is no health. God accompanies in the process, as that faithful friend who walks with you. Likewise, the Church, as a mother, must accompany and be an embrace for all those people who suffer because of mental health. Talking more openly about it can help to break down prejudices. 

What is the most difficult thing about teaching children about God?

- Before, anyone had received a minimal religious education. Now I have children who have never heard of God at home and you have to start from scratch. Continuity becomes complicated and then, unconsciously, they separate faith from other areas, instead of letting it be the essence. At school, God exists because the teacher talks to me about Him. In the rest of my life it is not present because the environment does not encourage it. It is also difficult for them to understand the implications of belonging to the Church because they do not live it on a daily basis. We teachers and catechists sow and pray that the seed will bear fruit at some point, but the watering they are given from home is fundamental.

Is there anything your younger students have taught you about God that you would like to share with us?

- Children quickly assimilate that God is a good father who loves us madly. For this reason, they manage to enter into a dynamic of trust with Him, where they are not afraid to ask questions or reproach. Pope Francis says that getting angry with God is also a way of praying, because it means talking to Him and acknowledging His existence. Children have taught me not to be afraid to turn to God and tell him whatever I feel at any time. He accepts everything and continues to love me.

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