On Sunday 5 June, the Feast of the Ascension, we celebrate World Communications Day, a day of special prayer for those who work with and in the media.
The day was established by Pope Paul VI following the Second Vatican Council and this year marks the 45th official celebration.
Each year on January 24th, the Feast of St Francis de Sales, the patron saint of journalists, the Holy Father publishes a message giving the theme of the day which, for 2011, is ‘Truth, Proclamation and Authenticity of Life in the Digital Age’. Pope Benedict XVI takes a look at the many opportunities which the new technologies of our day open up, he says: ‘This means of spreading information and knowledge is giving birth to a new way of learning and thinking, with unprecedented opportunities for establishing relationships and building fellowship’.
He continues by reminding us that, as with existing means of communication, the new technologies should be used as a force for good, he says ‘As with every other fruit of human ingenuity, the new communications technologies must be placed at the service of the integral good of the individual and of the whole of humanity’.
He goes on to speak particularly to young people, especially in light of the forthcoming World Youth Day in Madrid this August. Whilst again recognising the negative side of new technology Pope Benedict speaks of ‘the task of witnessing to the Gospel in the digital era’.
He concludes his message: ‘through the intercession of their patron Saint Francis de Sales, I pray that God may grant communications workers the capacity always to carry out their work conscientiously and professionally’.
Resources for World Communications Day:
Message of Pope Benedict XVI for the 45th World Communications Day
Resources below include:
Message from Bishop George Stack, Media Bishop
Parish Newsletter inserts
Images for Parish Newsletters
Parish website text
Prayers of the Faithful
Also: Messages of Faith
Useful links for World Communications Day:
Catholic Bishops' Conference of England and Wales
Pontifical Council for Social Communications