Saturday, August 18, 2007

MANGALORE: Shepherds of the Media Age (Bishops' Workshop)

Shepherds of the Media Age, Bishops To Acquire Internet-Computer Skills

New Delhi, Aug. 18, 2007, 09.30 Hrs (CBCI News):

The Catholic bishops of India will be joining a national workshop to acquire computer and Internet skills organised by the CBCI Commission for Social Communications on the theme: “Shepherds of the Media Age.”

24 bishops led by the CBCI president Cardinal Telesphore Toppo will inaugurate and also participate in the 4-day workshop which will be held at the Mangalore Diocesan Pastoral Institute and St Aloysius College Computer Academy.

“Christianity is essentially communication and the Church is called to be a communicating Church. Therefore, bishops as shepherds are called to be communicators in the new media age,” said the chairman of the CBCI Communications Commission, Archbishop Oswald Gracias.

“Today’s communications revolution demands that leaders ‘think communication’ and use new communication technologies to get their message through,” declared Archbishop Gracias.

During the workshop, “the bishops will acquaint themselves with the pastoral communications skills and upgrade their knowledge of computers,” said the facilitator of the programme and the executive secretary of CBCI Commission for Social Communications, Fr Henry D’Souza.

“Internet is a versatile tool of communication and bishops as leaders need to be computer savvy and Internet friendly. Leaders of today cannot tackle today’s challenges with yesterday’s tools,” said Fr Henry D’Souza.

It may be recalled that CBCI’s general body meeting held in Trichur in 2004, deliberated on the theme, “Church and Social Communications.” The general body came out with a much appreciated final statement entitled, “Called to be a communicating Church.”

The general body of CBCI had emphatically stressed that all church leaders – bishops, priests, religious brothers and sisters and lay persons need to be trained in communications.

“It would be interesting to see the Shepherds of the new age, moving about with lap-tops in their pastoral work”, remarked Fr D’Souza.

The workshop will end on Aug. 23 with a session on “Communicating in a New Way in the Media Age” which will coincide with the inaugural session of the national conference of Catholic communicators.

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