To mark World Communications Day 2019, a seminar was held on Wednesday 29th May in Saint Patrick’s College, Maynooth, entitled: ‘Believers in the Digital World: Opportunities for Mission’. Senator Joan Freeman chaired the seminar and Archbishop Eamon Martin delivered the opening address. A live stream of Archbishop Eamon’s address from the seminar is available on the Irish Catholic Bishops’ Conference Facebook page. The seminar brochure is available on the home page of www.catholicbishops.ie. The seminar heard contributions from faith representatives and digital experts as well as video input from students of Saint Peter’s College, Dunboyne, on the influence of social media in their lives. Speakers included:
– Brenda Drumm of the Catholic Communications Office on faith and evangelisation in the digital space.
– Detective Sergeant Mary McCormack on the extent of the challenge to society of online abuse and how to respond.
– Darren Butler of the Bishops’ Pastoral Response to Substance Misuse on the role of parishes in addressing internet addiction.
– Emma Tobin and Oisín Walsh reflect on the digital media experience of, and environment for, young people.
World Communications Day 2019 will be celebrated by the universal Church this weekend on Ascension Sunday, 2 June. Wednesdays seminar has been particularly informed by Pope Francis’ 2019 message for WCD We are members one of another (Eph 4,25). From network community to human communities; by the Holy Father’s final address in February at the Vatican meeting on ‘The Protection of Minors in the Church’; and, by the post-synodal Apostolic Exhortation Christus Vivit To Young People and to the Entire People of God, which was published in March. Those attending included members of the clergy, religious, diocesan communications officers, seminarians and representatives from the national seminary, students, second and third level chaplains, parish pastoral workers and volunteers, Catholic youth ministers and youth organisations, journalists, representatives of Catholic education, digital media experts and practitioners.