The World Communication Day
Immersed in the cultural complexity typical of a change of era and civilization, humanity is going through a time of great transformations, many of which have permitted the development of culture and the increase of knowledge in many fields. It is difficult to foresee what type of new world will emerge. The need is intuitively felt for a change of paradigm on the societal, cultural, religious, political and economic levels. It is not yet possible to imagine this change but there is no doubt it will be traced out by communications.
The World Communications Day, in fact, was willed expressly by the Second Vatican Council Decree, Inter Mirifica and supported by Paul VI, who wrote the first message, celebrated the first edition more than half a century ago and promulgated the Pastoral Education also commissioned by the council, which took the name of Communio et Progressio, prepared by the Pontifical Council for Social Communications.
“To make the Church’s multiple apostolate in the field of social communication more effective, a day is to be set aside each year in every diocese, at the bishop’s discretion, on which the faithful will be reminded of their duties in this domain. They should be asked to pray for the success of the Church’s apostolate in this field and to contribute toward it, their contributions to be scrupulously employed for the support and the further development of the projects which the Church has initiated in view of the needs of the entire Church” (Inter Mirifica, 18).
The enrichement of culture
In their Message for the first World Communication Day, the Holy Father Paolo VI said:
“We address you, dear brothers and sons, as the World Communications Day, which will
be held for the first time on Sunday, Seventh of May (1967), approaches. The Church, realizing “that she is truly and intimately linked with mankind and its history”, wishes by means of this initiative, proposed by the Second Vatican Ecumenical Council, to draw the attention of her children and of all men of good will to the vast and complex phenomenon of the modem means of social communication, such as the press, motion pictures, radio and television, which form one of the most characteristic notes of modern civilization.
Thanks to these wonderful techniques, man’s social life has taken on new dimensions: time and space have been conquered, and man has become as it were a citizen of the world, sharing in and witnessing the most remote events and the vicissitudes of the whole human race. As the Council has said, “we can already speak of a true social and cultural transformation, one which has repercussions on man’s religious life as well”. To this transformation the means of social communication have greatly contributed, at times in a decisive manner, we are even now nearing new, amazing developments, such as that of world-wide television through artificial satellites. In all this, we see the unfolding and the realization of a wonderful plan of God’s providence, which opens to man’s genius ever new ways of achieving his perfection and of attaining to his final end.
One must therefore, give full credit, at its true worth, to the contribution made by the press, motions pictures, radio and television as well as the other instruments of social communication, to the enrichment of culture, to the spread of various artistic forms, to recreation, to mutual knowledge and understanding among peoples and also towards the spread of the Gospel message…” (Pope Paolo VI)
Unfortunately, this annual celebration that calls for reflection on the Church and the use of social communication for evangelization have not yet been fully expressed and actualized. It then follows that it is the responsibility of those working in the world of Catholic communication to promote the gospel of Jesus Christ with these instruments.
The World CommunicatiEvents for Communication Sundayons Day is usually celebrated on the Sunday of solemnity of the Ascension, even though the date varies according to place. Ideally the Day should extend throughout the social and pastoral year, but unfortunately it often remains hidden or seen as something for a small group of insiders.
The Pauline Sisters undertake to promote the celebration of the World Communications Day wherever they are all over the world, through parish animations, roundtable discussions, conferences, book displays, entertainment activities and other activities that raise awareness of the Day.
“I would like, then, to contribute to the search for an open and creative style of communication that never seeks to glamourize evil but instead to concentrate on solutions and to inspire a positive and responsible approach on the part of its recipients. I ask everyone to offer the people of our time storylines that are at heart “good news”… (Pope Francis- WCD Message 2017).
Read and download: 7 Images for a creative communication.pdf