Dear 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
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
Pontifical Council for Social Communications will be organising the
Catholic Press Congress in Rome, 4-10 October. The topics will be of
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)
What are the opportunities offered by new media? How can Catholic Press
help Church to be effectively present in digital age? What are the
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
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
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
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.
TO SC DELEGATES
If you would like to control your own section of sdb.org, in English, please contact us