The Australian Catholic Bishops Conference Communications Office has released an eBook and parish resource to coincide with the celebration of the 47th World Communications Day, which takes place in Australia on Sunday, May 5.
In one of his final acts as Pope, Benedict XVI authored the statement “Social Networks: portals of truth and faith; new spaces for evangelization”, recognising the gifts of social networking in sharing the message of Christ.
In response to the Holy Father’s message, the Communications Office of the Bishops Conference commissioned 30 Catholic Media Professionals from around Australia to contribute chapters to an eBook entitled “Word Made Flesh and “Shared” Among Us.”
The authors, including four bishops, gave heartfelt testimonies about their use of social media.
Coming from a wide range of backgrounds and professional experiences, each of the contributors reflected generously on how social media had helped them to spread a message of hope.
The eBook is available now for free download to iPads, iPhones and Android devices at www.catholic.org.au and can be read in iBooks and a range of eReader apps. It can also be downloaded at www.amazon.com for $1.99.
Bishops’ Delegate for the Media and Chair of the Australian Catholic Media Council Bishop Peter Ingham said that this unique project is a real testimony to the way in which Social Networks can be used for the greater glory of God.
“Each contribution to this eBook is a specific example of those who, often unconsciously, have become online missionaries, spreading the Gospel in the new “Areopagus” (public square) that is now something of a digital continent.”
“Like the Holy Father says in his World Communications Day Message: “In social networks, believers show their authenticity by sharing the profound source of their hope and joy: faith in the merciful and loving God revealed in Christ Jesus”.
The eBook and Parish Resource are available by clicking the relevant buttons on the front page of the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference website www.catholic.org.au
(Australia) Recharge your Heart & Soul this Lent - with Xt3.com! This new Xt3 Promo features a lift for your Heart & Soul this Lent. Remember to download our 2013 Lent Calendar app: http://www.xt3.com/lent
Music "Lift Me Up" by Fr. Rob Galea (copyright www.FrRobGalea.com and Willow Publishing), used with permission. You can purchase this track from Fr. Rob's "Reach Out" album: https://itunes.apple.com/au/album/rea...
Monsignor Paul Tighe one of the Vatican’s most senior media advisors, is Secretary to the Pontifical Council for Social Communications. Irish-born, Monsignor Tighe worked as the Director of Communications in the Archdiocese of Dublin prior to this Vatican role, where he focusses on developing new media strategies and also with liaising between the Vatican and the international media. His work for the Council is right on the cutting edge of the social media revolution which is changing the way the world — and the Church — communicates. ‘Communication of the Gospel must be at heart of the ministry of a priest and I am pleased to be asked to work in the Council that has a mandate to harness the potential of the media – new and old – as a means of evangelisation,’ Monsignor Paul says. ‘I am equally pleased to be speaking on this vital area in the mission of the Church at the ACMC in Sydney”
(Sidney).- The Australian Catholic Media Council has announced that some of Australia’s most prominent Catholic and Secular journalists will participate in the Australian Catholic Media Congress 2012, a Congress which takes place once every three years at the Menzies Hotel in Sydney.
Chair of the Australian Catholic Media Council Bishop Peter Ingham said he was delighted to welcome media professionals who will speak over three days (30 April-2 May) at the Congress “Communicating the word: Timeless Messages, New Media”, “We are so pleased to have the participation of people such as Geraldine Doogue from Compass, Scott Stephens from ABC Religion and Ethics as well as journalism academic Julie Posetti”, said Bishop Ingham.
“The calibre of speakers that we are able to offer to the delegates shows just how seriously we take the dialogue between the Catholic and Secular media.
“These speakers will talk about the impact of social media on journalism, and will share ideas of how people from all walks of life can use social media to promulgate a message of hope and peace”, he said.
The Congress has as its keynote speaker Monsignor Paul Tighe from the Pontifical Council for Social Communications. It will also feature presentations by Former young Australian of the Year Khoa Do and Social Commentator Melinda Tankard Reist. CEO of FreeTV Australia Julie Flynn will speak at the Gala Dinner at the Amora Jamison Hotel on 1 May.
Australian Bishops including Archbishop Mark Coleridge (Archdiocese of Canberra and Goulburn), David Walker (Diocese of Broken Bay) and Peter Comensoli (Archdiocese of Sydney) will participate in panels, give presentations and facilitate workshops throughout the Congress.
Education professionals Dr Matthew Tan from Campion College and Virginia Ryan from the Catholic Schools Office in the Diocese of Broken Bay will also share theological reflections on the theme.
For a detailed program and to register for the Congress, visit www.communicatingthewordACMC2012.com . Early-Bird registration is available until Friday, 30 April, however registration will be possible right up until the Congress.
Sydney.- The Official website for “A Year of Grace” has been launched today at www.yearofgrace.catholic.org.au signalling the start of preparations for this important event for the Catholic Church in Australia.
A Year of Grace is the Australian bishops’ gift to the Church to celebrate and renew our faith and life as Catholics. It will begin at Pentecost 2012 and is an exhortation from the bishops of Australia to "Start afresh from Christ."
Project Officer for the Year of Grace Fr. Peter Brock hopes that the site will become a hub for Catholics during the Year of Grace.
“The enthusiasm of the bishops for this Year of Grace can be seen in the comments of four of them on the home page. They are calling the whole Catholic Church in Australia in join them in this time of renewed prayer, or what several of them have called a 'slow-motion retreat'.”
"In the coming weeks and months the National Planning Team will use the website to make resources available to individuals, parishes, schools and dioceses, so that people all over the country can respond to the invitation to 'start afresh from Christ'."
Archbishop Mark Coleridge, who has been a driving force behind the bishops’ working group on the Year of Grace is hopeful about the way in which it will renew the Australian Church.
“The bishops have decided, under the impulse of the Holy Spirit to call all Catholic people in Australia to a time of retreat.”
“The Year of Grace has been like a seed, being watered gently and growing with tender care. It comes from the bishops' reflection over a number of years on the Apostolic letter Novo Millennio Ineunte (at the start of the new millennium).
“This letter recalls the events in Rome during the Jubilee year of 2000 and the Pope's challenge to the whole Church to "contemplate the face of Christ.”
All people are warmly welcomed to explore this site and the hope is that it will be a space of prayer; a place to seek resources and a place of information for you as we go on this journey together in the Catholic Church in Australia.
Monsignor Paul Tighe, Secretary to the Pontifical Council for Social Communications heads an influential line-up of guests for the Australian Catholic Media Congress 2012, an event which is held once every three years in Sydney.
The Media Congress is organised by the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference and will take place from 30 April – 2 May at the Menzies Hotel.
The event carries the theme “Communicating the Word: Timeless Messages, New Media”, to focus on the way the Church and the world can engage with social media to share important messages.
Monsignor Paul Tighe was delighted to accept the invitation to present at the Congress and will present on all three days.
'Communication of the Gospel must be at heart of the ministry of a priest and I am pleased to be asked to work in the Council that has a mandate to harness the potential of the media - new and old - as a means of evangelisation,' Monsignor Paul said.
'I am equally pleased to be speaking on this vital area in the mission of the Church at the ACMC in Sydney", he said.
Workshops and presentations on Twitter, YouTube, Facebook, eConferencing, eLearning technology and blogging, as well as ethics and spirituality will be featured. There will be a hands-on professional development element in concurrent sessions.
Bishop Peter Ingham, Bishops’ delegate for the Media said that the Media Congress is a once in a lifetime opportunity and that the keynote guest is extremely competent and inspiring.
“There are few events which bring together such a diverse and talented group of media professionals, and anyone with an interest in how we communicate the Gospel message in our society today would benefit from attending”, he said.
“Monsignor Paul Tighe is one of the Vatican’s most senior media advisors and has a wonderful background in communication both in Ireland and now based in Rome. It is indeed a privilege that he will be with us during this Congress”, he said.
The Congress is open for early-bird registration and all interested professionals who wish to learn more about social media and the Church are welcome.
To register for the Congress or simply to find out more visit
www.communicatingthewordACMC2012.com or phone Beth Doherty on 0407 081 256
Sidney (.catholic.org.au).- The Australian Catholic Office for Film (ACOFB) and Broadcasting has cautiously welcomed the introduction of legislation which looks to create an R18+ classification for computer games.
Director of the ACOFB, Jesuit priest Fr Richard Leonard said that the submission from the Bishops was very clear that they do not condone the material contained in such games, and that their support would be qualified.
“The Bishops preferred position was that R18+ material should not be available, and that if such a category be now introduced to computer games, then their support would be very cautious”, said Fr Leonard.
There are two elements that swayed the ACOFB to take the position they did, and they highlighted that it was not taken without some discernment.
“Computer games are not classified in the same way that films are, and that the classifiers do not have at their disposal the following G; PG; M; MA15+; R18; and RC (refused classification).”
“Unfortunately, very few films and computer games are refused classification. But what is worse is that because there has been no R18+ category available until now many computer games that should have received a restricted rating ended up attracting the highest category possible: MA 15+”, said Fr Leonard
“Some parents have assumed that on seeing this classification on the cover of a computer game that these games were deemed to have less adult content. But they do not. Some of us might wonder about the decision to even allow older teenagers access to MA 15+ computer games, but, now, at least a parent can see an R18+ classification and know that it is not only illegal for their children to be playing them, it is clearly immoral. In regard to the present system for computer games, the status quo is not good enough.”
The Bishops have repeatedly argued that the Classification Act needs to be strengthened to help parents protect their children from any media that demeans humanity and does not promote human or social dignity, especially, but not exclusively, in regard to violent and sexually graphic material.
“The Bishops have also called for a genuine nation-wide approach. Until now some games have been banned in most States but have been available in one or other of the Territories. In this context, with the status quo not working and no hope of a ban, the Church opted to support parents to have as much information as possible, and so enable them work with their children make the best media decisions for their family.”