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By Fr. Ambrose Pereira, SDB

       ZOOM, 21 February 2023 -- The General Councillor for Social Communication, Fr Gildasio Mendes, together with the Salesians of the Department, met the Regional Coordinators from across the world for a two-hour online meeting on 17 February 2023.

       It was an occasion for the members to connect, several months after their meeting in Lisbon and share highlights and strengths of the region. Plans, projects, and activities for the year ahead of each region were shared, while common possibilities for the Social Communication commission were discussed.

       In addressing the members, Fr Gildasio stressed the need to be relevant and visible in communications. He reminded all to be working in unity and harmony with the Church and the Salesian Congregation. He encouraged all to support the new project of ‘Voices’ that plans to emphasize the importance of peace in our world amidst the growing situation of violence, the inequality in which we live together with the situation of refugees, migrants, the poor, and give them a ‘voice’. He thanked the coordinators for their dedication, commitment, and planning for each of the regions. He spoke about the new document of communication and announced that the department will dwell on Artificial Intelligence and the GPP chat application. “Understanding transformation and following the rhythm of technology is vital today”, he said.

       In the sharing of the regional coordinators there were points of convergence. The Salesian Sacrament of presence in the digital world and the Global Compact of Pope Francis were presented in different ways. Despite the differences in language and ethnic background, efforts are being made by the different regions to seek possibilities for assistance, networking, and collaboration. Strengthening presence in different media platforms - audio, print and the digital media were presented. The reminder of the stark reality of the war in Ukraine as it nears its one-year mark, the need for solidarity and pastoral work were also discussed.

       Details of the Don Bosco Global Film Festival with its theme: ‘Love builds peace and solidarity’ were explained by Fr Harris Pakkam, coordinator of the program. He also elaborated on the participation by the Salesian Family and the Regional and the Global awards to be given. The films have a cut of date on 31 July and the festival will be held on 13 and 14 October.

       The meeting of those responsible for the Salesian Bulletin will be held from 21 to 26 April 2023, in Valdocco. 70 participants – Salesian Bulletin Directors and editors - from all over the world will attend the meeting. It is in line with the five dimensions of the Social Communication Sector: living communication in an evangelical, synodal, Salesian, convergent and artistic way. “After a gap of three years, it promises to animate, accompany, and renew the Information policy of the Salesian Bulletin as it strives to highlight the Salesian Charism throughout the world”, said Fr Macije Matia Makula.

       The Communication Convention to be held from 1-7 August 2024 was presented. It will deal with communication in the church and the congregation and look at the future with migrants and refugees. The digital environment and a communication of encounter will also be part of the program. A media visit to Rome and the Vatican Radio is also planned.

       ‘Spotify’, the digital music podcast and video service, is to be used to collect songs on Don Bosco from across the world. Fr Richard Campoli explained the need to have a rich resource of Salesian songs and digital material from across the world. In due time details will be shared.

       The delegates will next meet on 8 May, 8 September and 5 December 2023.






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