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Tuesday, June 1, 2010

44th World Communications Day

Sandakan :  St Mary's  Cathedral Parish Soccom organized a talk,  in conjunction with the 44th World Communications Day  on the theme “The Priest and Pastoral Ministry in Digital World: New Media at the Service of the Word” on 30th.May 2010 after Sunday mass, in room A of the former Kindergarten block. 

The event was participated by most of the Sandakan Parish Soccom Committee headed by Chairperson , Airene Gumamas. Also in attendance were  Terrence Ngui, Chairman of the Diocesan Social Communication Commission and John Baptis, Chairman of the Cathedral Parish Pastoral  Council.

The first session started with a power point presentation by  Francis Tan,  Executive Secretary of the Diocese, on the subject of “The importance of Social Communication in the mission of evangelization”. He high lighted that through the digital technologies, those involve in Soccom can now use this powerful instrument for 'E'-vangelisation and what is more interesting, through this technology it created an avenue for a two way communication e.g  blog thus promoting a modern way of reaching out. 

He said by using this technology, eg the internet, we can reach the masses just within a ‘click’. “It is a powerful instrument and if we are not tuned to this we will be left  far behind.  The Pope himself has urged Catholic to maximize the utilization of the new media. Media utilization is very essential today and when we talk about Sunday school today, we need to adopt the new trend of teaching methodologies whereby text, sound and images are involved”.  

During his presentation, he also reminded the participants that Soccom has a role to play in every aspect of the Church mission and should be an integral part of every pastoral plan. His talk ends with an invitation to the Soccom committees to reach out more to the parishioners with our message through utilizing the modern gadgets.


The second session for WCD was given by Rev. Fr. Thomas Makajil, the rector of the Cathedral. His opening talk started by asking the participants to name the traditional ways of communication channel which they can think of. Touching on the Pope’s message calling priests, religious and those involved in Pastoral ministry in a digital world, Fr. Thomas said the church has been responding in every means and ways using new communication technologies to spread the news. He explained that there are pros and cons in the digital world, and these technologies are similar to the tongue where it can be used for blasphemy, blessing or cursing. 

He elaborated that,  in our context, the technologies can also be avenues where we can purify the usage of mass media, and that is what the Pope is pushing for, to purify the usage of mass media according to our Christian’s teachings. He reiterated that through  Soccom, we can be part of that catalyst, and hopefully through the attendance of the  committees here, we  may have a rippling and multiply effect and he concluded his talk by saying that, by our respond to the message of the Pope, we will be blessed in our effort [putting the media ever more effectively at the service of the Word]. 

The last slot was the questions and answers session, facilitated by Terrence, and followed by a luncheon fellowship which ended at 2.00pm.
by Dalius LL,
Sandakan Parish Soccom

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