SOCOM Ministry holds conference for World Communication Day

The Social Communications Ministry of the Archdiocese of Manila held a half day conference for members of the media ministry of parishes last May 27, 2017 8 am to 12 noon in line with the observance of the 51st World Communications Day.


About 80 members of the Social Communications Ministry of parishes in the archdiocese, catholic media, and Ecclesiastical Province of Manila attended the gathering at the Layforce auditorium in San Carlos Seminary in Guadalupe, Makati City


The conference entitled “Communicating Hope and Trust in our Time: Philippine Media Perspectives” commenced with the celebration of the Holy Eucharist presided by Fr. Jojo Buenafe, First Commissioner of Social Communication of the Archdiocese of Manila, Vice President for Administration of TV Maria and Parish Priest of Santissima Trinidad Parish.


The half day conference focused on the message of His Holiness Pope Francis for the 51st World Communication Day that was released on January 24, 2017, feast of St. Francis de Sales.  The conference also provided a way in which the message can be better known, understood, appreciated and applied by the social communicators and the public as well.


Pope Francis in his message urged the faithful to focus on Good News instead of “glamourizing evil.” He also encouraged them “to engage in constructive forms of communication that reject prejudice” and “foster a culture of encounter.”


In his opening remarks, Fr. Roy Bellen, Second Commissioner of Social Communication of the Archdiocese of Manila, Vice President for Operations for TV Maria and Radyo Veritas and Director of Print and Internet of the Office of Communication, puts emphasis on the perspective that the “church is present, the church is active and the church brings her message in all aspect of society.”  He then encouraged the social communicators to help them “to make use of media to communicate hope, to communicate love, and communicate the truth.”


Fr. Nick Lalog II, Parish Priest of St. John the Evangelist in Sta. Maria, Bulacan, Chairman of the Social Communications Ministry of the Diocese of Malolos, and Anchor of Barangay Simbayanan of Radyo Veritas elaborated on the message of Pope Francis reminding the participants that as communicators, they should “always have that hope” in themselves especially in communicating the Good News of the Lord.


In his talk, he also told them that as communicators, they are the “first to be in touch with God” and “should be aware of the presence of God.” 


Conference speaker Paterno Esmaquel from Rappler, an online news site based in the Philippines with a bureau in Jakarta, Indonesia said that “bad news” will no longer become “good news.” But he stressed that a “bad news” can be “a means to show people that there is a bigger picture” as Pope Francis stated in his message. 


He also quoted Pope Francis saying, “everything depends on the way we look at things, on the lens we use to view them. If we change that lens, reality itself appears different.”


An open forum was held after the speakers shared their insight and ardent awareness about media and communication.


World Communications Day is celebrated every year on a Sunday before Pentecost. This year it fell on May 28, the Solemnity of Ascension of the Lord. 


The conference for World Communications Day was a collaborative effort of TV Maria, Radyo Veritas and the Archdiocesan Office of Communications – Print and Internet with its Commissioner, Monsignor Jose Clemente F. Ignacio.



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