The Archdiocese of Manila Commission on Social Communications held a general assembly to mark the 56th World Communications Day on May 28, 2022, at the San Pedro Calungsod Youth Center in Intramuros, Manila. This was the first time that the ministry held an assembly after almost two years of experiencing the COVID-19 pandemic.
The event was attended by more than 100 a hundred social communications ministers from the different parishes of the archdiocese and focused on the theme of World Communications Day entitled “Listening with the ear of the heart”.
“Listening corresponds to the humble style of God. It is the action that allows God to reveal himself as the One who, by speaking, creates man and woman in his image, and by listening recognizes them as his partners in dialogue. God loves humanity: that is why he addresses his word to them, and why he “inclines his ear” to listen to them,” Pope Francis said in his message for the 56th World Communications Day.
The SOCOM assembly aims to enhance audience understanding of the role of the Social Communication ministry in the parish/diocese in the light of the Synodal process and to underline the Social Communications Ministry’s collaborative dynamics about their respective parish priests and guardians in the ministry.
“A synodal process has just been launched. Let us pray that it will be a great opportunity to listen to one another. Communion, in fact, is not the result of strategies and programmes, but is built in mutual listening between brothers and sisters,” said Pope Francis.
Fr. Kevin Mendoza, SOCOM director of the Diocese of Paranaque was the guest speaker during the assembly and had expounded on the theme of the 56th World Communications Day.
While reflecting on the theme of the celebration and as a response to the call of Pope Francis to listen, Joy Deanon, a SOCOM minister from Our Lady of Remedies Parish (Malate Church) shared during the assembly, how a SOCOM member becomes an effective communicator of Christ.
“The main challenge for us members of the social communications committee of our respective parishes is to be able to develop the spirit of listening – listen with the heart. In this way, we will be more effective communicators,” Deanon said.
“We should be mindful not to be condescending as if we are the only ones who are good. Rather, we should reach out to the members of our community by understanding their needs and listening to their concerns. This way we can become more effective sharers of truth,” she added.
Meanwhile, in this time of disinformation and proliferation of fake news, Fr. Roy Bellen, Assistant Commissioner of RCAM SOCOM and Director of RCAM Office of Communications stressed that any information that degrades human dignity does not come from the Lord.
“Any information na nagbababa, nagbabasura sa karangalan ng tao ay hindi mula sa Diyos. Yung paninira, ang dangal ng tao ang niyuyurakan, nagsisinungaling para ang dangal ng tao ay ibagsak. In the first place alam na alam mo kaagad hindi po yan galing sa Diyos,” Fr. Bellen told Radio Veritas.
Fr. Bellen, who is also the Vice President for Operations of Radio Veritas reminded the faithful of the Lord’s true message – to value the dignity of every person.
“It is very good for us to be reminded kung ano po talaga ang mensahe ng Panginoon. Unang una po, let us be reminded ang Panginoon po ang unang pinahalagahan ay ang dangal ng tao. Katunayan ang Diyos nagkatawang tao, itinaas niya ang dangal ng pagiging tao,” Fr. Bellen said.
Every year, the Catholic Church celebrates World Communications Day on Sunday before Pentecost. It was established by Pope Paul VI in 1967 as an annual celebration and highlights the achievements of communications media and gives focus on how it can be a useful tool in spreading the Word of God. (Jheng Prado/RCAM-AOC | Photogallery)