Council Resources

Newsletter - September 2010


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Newsletter no.17,  September 2010

Animation - Letter from Fr Filiberto

FilibertoDear confreres, and friends of SC,

    It has been my particular fortune to be able to visit and encourage the various provinces of Interamerica and South Cone, sharing with the Provincial and his Council, Provincial Delegates for SC and their teams, and I was able to get to understand and see, face to face, that as part of the Province's Overall Plan they are moving the mission forward along with the other works and communities. I have taken the opportunity to catch up with those in formation each time where possible, since they are the future of the Congregation and the Salesian mission; so many of them 'born digital', which means they inhabit the world of SC in a different kind of way to those of us from the latter half of the previous century.
    From these visits I can put together a summary of values and aims, and mention some experiences in particular. I note the importance of the Provincial and his Council, formators and confreres in ongoing formation having a better understanding of what SC is in the Congregation, since often it is seen as just a simple set of tools and fragmented activity.
    Which brings me to the second point, the very real need for someone this sector of the mission full-time, with a team, working in with the Delegates for YM and Missions, without forgetting formation and finance/economy, since we have all been consecrated for the mission. This teamwork begins with dialogue in order to find the way to move the mission of the province forward, in each sector, in communion and in autonomy.
    I have been delighted to see such a wealth of varied experiences, some more developed than others, but all requiring province planning to tie them together, so that they don't just depend on one person following the other, or on personal tastes and projects. Situating them in the context and story of the province's mission along with the rest of confreres' efforts gives everyone a sense of ownership, and not just the work of one person.
    One important thing to note is that SC presences are by now moving towards a much more professional approach, involving various branches and levels of Salesian Family membership, and many of them involve, as key players, young students in our works or past pupils of the same.
    By means of this Newsletter I would like to thank all the Provinces I have visited for their welcome and their enthusiasm for SC carried out on behalf of the Salesian mission: Bolivia, Paraguay, Uruguay, Chile, Perú, Bogotá y Centroamérica.
My brotherly prayer for all of you:

Fr Filiberto González Plasencia sdb
General Councillor for SC

Information: Catholic Press Congress October 4-10

pccsThe Pontifical Council for Social Communications will be organising the Catholic Press Congress in Rome, 4-10 October. The topics will be of general interest:
 1. The Future of the Press: Challenges and Opportunities.
    Panel: Representatives from major international newspapers
2. The Catholic Press: Global Challenges.
    Panel: Editors/Directors of major Catholic publications
        Questions: Delegates gather in continental groups to discuss present state of Catholic Press and future possibilities
3. The Catholic Press: Expectations and Hopes.
    Panel: Speakers offering different ecclesial perspectives (Bishop, Vatican representative, Lay-person, Journalist from Catholic Press, Academic.)
        Questions: How is Catholic Press
contributing to the Public Forum? To the “diaconate of culture”? To the life of the Church?
4. Ecclesial Communion and Controversies. Freedom of Expression and the Truth of the Church.
        Panel: Blogger, Church spokesperson, Theologian, Sociologist, Secular Journalist.
        Questions: Should Catholic Press
avoid certain topics? How should it speak of controversial issues? Should it give a voice to dissent?
5. Catholic Press and the Internet.
        Panel: Experts chosen to address different elements of the challenge of new media (Economic aspects, journalistic challenges, interactivity, language, digital divide)
        Questions: What are the opportunities offered by new media? How can Catholic Press help Church to be effectively present in digital age? What are the challenges?
6. Internet Initiatives. Structures and Needs – Meeting the glocal demands.
        Panel: Representatives chosen to showcase successful ventures in use of new media by Church communicators (Local papers, Online services, Diocesan Websites, Networked Diocesan Papers, on-line parish.)
        Questions: How we can we work together? What would be helpful to support your work? What resources might we share?.

Formation: Education in formation and communication


    IIn the context of post-modern tendencies and the challenges they bring, the Salesian Sisters (FMA) and the Salesians (SDB) in Brazil have devoted much study, research and reflection to communications in education, seeking to understand its role, relevance and above all its impact on the current generations. These generations are characterised by the use of digital technology, by global networks and by a perception that established theories and practices now being taught seem condemned to failure, obsolescence and being forgotten as museum pieces in the not too distant future.
    While to traditionalists it may seem a fad among the many who are born every day, communications education is rapidly becoming a new and important field of theoretical and applied research. It is an area of knowledge which seeks to respond to the  urgent demands made by the new technologies and the progress of science in different contexts of social life, particularly in education.
    The joint publication, in Portuguese, of the two works ‘A Communications Education proposal for the Salesian Family’ from the Social Communications Team of the FMA Ecosam Institute and ‘Communications Education: small steps in a new culture’ in the GONG series, also from the FMA Institute, reveal clearly the progress of communications studies and a commitment to include it across the curriculum to support the mission and expression of the Salesian charism.
    The third (South?) American Salesian Schools Conference, held in Brasilia in May 2008, challenged the Salesian Family to encourage a culture of communications inspired by Gospel values, educating teachers in interpersonal communications, technological methods, the expression and art of training as an exercise of citizenship and welcoming the new languages of youth culture in the perspective of communications education.
    In order to strengthen education in communications, and to become more effective in educational and pastoral practice, the Salesian Schools Network is promoting this joint publication. As a resource it will encourage broad reflection, based on a wealth of experience in education and communications, demonstrating the many forms of communication in education.

Production: Continental meeting Salesian Radios, the Americas

radio    The John XXIII centre in the Myurina Salesian School in Montero, Santa Cruz, was the venue for the Continental Meeting of Salesian Radio Stations in America, organised by the department of Social Communications of the Salesian Congregation.
    From 26 to 29 August the directors of Salesian Radio Stations in America  gathered with Don Filiberto Gonzalez, General Councillor for Social Communications, and his assistant, Fr Jaime Gonzalez, to take part in the Continental Meeting for Salesian Radio Stations in America. Also present were representatives from Africa: Don Cyril Odia from Sudan and Don Adolphe Akpoué from Benin.
    The main purposes of the meeting were to study the nature and mission of Salesian radio stations in the fields of news, education and evangelisation, and to identify strengths, opportunities, weaknesses and risks and the creation of possible ways of cooperation between the various broadcasters.
    During the meeting the group provided suggestions for the revision of the Salesian System of Social Communications (SSCS). The General Councillor made frequent requests to integrate and harmonise the activities of the radio stations with the various Provincial Plans (POI), Provincial Educational and Pastoral Plans (PEPSI) and the Province Social Communications Plans (PICS).
    Steering the work of the 25 participants were two reports. The first, by Br Igor Gomes, Social Communications Delegate for the Belo Horizonte Province in Brazil, presented his experiences of education in television. The second, by Fr Guillermo Siles OMI, Provincial of the Oblates in Bolivia and director of ‘Católica de TV’, described the situation of radio broadcasting in his country and in Latin America. It was very useful for the the Salesian broadcasters to hear and share their experiences.
    On Saturday 28 August the group visited the studios of two stations, Radio María Auxiliadora in Montero and the radio and tv station ‘Ichilo de Yapacaní’. They met the staff and shared their points of view and experiences in the radiophonic field.


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