COMMUNICATION: EXPLORING CONCEPTS AND PROCESSES
DICASTERO PER LA COMUNICAZIONE SOCIALE
PART 1: COMMUNICATION AND THEOLOGY
- God has communicated with humanity through the incarnation of the Word: “The Word became flesh and dwelt among us "(John 1:14)
- The Prophets as communicators of God’s Plan for his people
- Jesus Christ, incarnate Word, Good Shepherd, communicator of God’s project – Beatitudes
- The Trinity is the model of community and shared communication
- Our Lady, Communicator of Encounter and fraternal fellowship
- Communication is an intrinsic aspect of evangelisation. Jesus entrusted his disciples with the mission of communicating the Gospel: “And he said to them, ‘Go into all the world and preach the gospel to the whole creation’” (Mk 16:15-18)
- The Church – Communicator and Sacrament of God’s love for humanit
PART 2: COMMUNICATION AND CHRISTIAN ANTHROPOLOGY
- 8. Communication goes hand in hand with anthropology and theology. Communication is a mediation of human relationships. Human, biblical and Christian values form the basis of communication with a Christian identity.
- The human being as communicator: languages, symbology, relationships, artefacts, art, religiosity.
- The right of the human being to communicate. Artistic creation and cultural heritage. Communication as technology and news agencies: the democratisation of communication. Communication and human rights. Communication and different peoples and ethnicity. Communication and ecology. Communication is freedom. Communication and family. Communication is youth.
- Communication has various dimensions, such as personal, interpersonal, communal, institutional.
PART 3: COMMUNICATION, CREATIVE , NARRATIVE AND AESTHETIC PROCESSES
- The production of messages depends on the development of talent in all the arts. It also means creativity and originality and legal information on copyright and fair use of data.
- Human beings are storytellers because they are beings in realisation. They describe and enrich themselves through the thread of daily events. (MESSAGE OF THE HOLY FATHER POPE FRANCIS FOR THE 54TH WORLD DAY OF SOCIAL COMMUNICATION 1).
- “Sacred Scripture is a Story of stories. How many events, peoples and individuals it sets before us! It shows us from the very beginning a God who is both creator and narrator. Indeed, God speaks his word and things come into existence (cf. Gen 1) (MESSAGE OF THE HOLY FATHER POPE FRANCIS FOR THE 54TH WORLD DAY OF SOCIAL COMMUNICATION, 3)
- 15. The strength of communication comes from the originality and credibility of the author and the source of information. For the Salesian Congregation, the originality, credibility and visibility of all its communication comes first of all from its charismatic mission of service to the poorest young people, from the presence of the Salesians in places of mission, volunteer service, its transparency in educating the poorest with an integral vision of the world today.
PART 4: COMMUNICATION AND THE SALESIAN CHARISM
- The Salesian charism is a gift of the Holy Spirit (C. 1), and is one of the forms in which God communicates his love for the poor. Don Bosco was chosen to be a communicator-educator of God’s love for the young:
“Faithful to the commitments Don Bosco has passed on to us, we are evangelizers of the young, and the more so if they are poor; we pay special attention to apostolic vocations; we are educators of the faith for the working classes, particularly by means of social communication; we proclaim the Gospel to those who have not yet received it. In this way we contribute to building up the Church as the body of Christ, so that also through us she may appear to the world as the ‘universal sacrament of salvation’” (C. 6).
- To this end, the Salesian Constitutions give importance to the fact that communication is a charismatic dimension of the Salesian mission. For the Salesians, to evangelise is to communicate; to educate is to communicate.
PART 5: COMMUNICATION AND ST FRANCIS DE SALES
- “So that, as eternally there is an essential communication in God by which the Father communicates all his infinite and indivisible divinity to the Son in producing him, and the Father and the Son together producing the Holy Ghost communicate to him also their own singular divinity;—so this sovereign sweetness was so perfectly communicated externally to a creature, that the created nature and the divinity, retaining each of them its own properties, were notwithstanding so united together that they were but one same person” (St Frances de Sales, TLG 2, Ch. 4)
- A God passionate about “communication”. It is good to communicate, he says, because we are by nature communicative (S IV 312-313). God’s pleasure is in “spreading and communicating his own perfections” (T VIII 4).
- The Trinity is the place par excellence of communication. (T III 12). (T II 4).( Fr Morand Wirth wrote the book “Saint Francis de Sales and Education”, Chapter 26).
PART 6: COMMUNICATION, SALESIAN IDENTITY AND MISSION
- Salesian identity in the digital world is fundamental. We are called to form a group of digital apostles and missionaries to have a significant and relevant impact on today's youth world.
- 22 Networking, synergy and collaboration must occur at all levels so that all our resources are planned, used optimally, so that we can be a unified force in all our services.
- The formation of Salesians and youth can be considered in terms of updating two concepts, the methodology and technique, of communication, so as to know how to use digital instruments for evangelisation and mission, behave in the digital environment and become effective digital apostles.
- The process of digitisation in each community requires that we document and treasure the past and present responsibly, and that we have a clear vision of the future by re-equipping our structures and systems.
PART 7: COMMUNICATION AND A SENSE OF CHURCH
- The Church as an expert and teacher of humanity and messenger of the Gospel
- “The Salesian vocation places us at the heart of the Church and puts us entirely at the service of her mission. Faithful to the commitments Don Bosco has passed on to us, we are evangelizers of the young, and the more so if they are poor; we pay special attention to apostolic vocations; we are educators of the faith for the working classes, particularly by means of social communication'. we proclaim the Gospel to those who have not yet received it. In this way we contribute to building up the Church as the Body of Christ, so that also through us she may appear to the world as the "universal sacrament of salvation".. (C. 6)
PART 8: COMMUNICATION AND SPIRITUALITY
- Communicating in a Christian sense is a theological act, that is, a way for God to share and give Himself to humanity.
- Being a good communicator today requires an inner listening, a commitment to otherness, an appreciation of the human being (in the human being’s integrity, respect for freedom of choice, an understanding of the deepest longings for unity, peace and communion).
- Consider the value of the word and silence. “The more I speak the more I need silence in order to be faithful to what I am saying.” (Henri Nouwen, 1996, p. 134)
- The more the communicator can listen to himself, the more he will listen to the needs of humanity within himself and the more humane his communication will be.( In the Journal "Vida Pastoral" July/August 2020 - year 61 – no. 334 Fr André Luiz Boccato de Almeida and Paulino Francisco Galvão wrote an article entitled "La mística del comunicador" (The mysticism of the communicator).
- Although it is not easy to establish a dialogue between inner life and the digital world, between spirituality and virtuality, we must contribute to this dialogue and to this new way of interpreting the present and future of digital communication.
PART 9: COMMUNICATION AND ETHICS
- We can speak of incorporated values that are present in our mission, in the preventive system and in our Salesian spirituality. These values are the identity card of our communication. Alongside the incorporated values, there are perceived values, that is, lived values, real experience, lived testimony.
- The ethics of communication offers us criteria for communicating and promoting solidarity among people, groups and communities.
- Communication is never neutral. Personal, group, corporate and governmental ideologies are very interested in controlling communication and information agencies to promote their criteria.
- Humanising the world of communication is part of the ethics of communication. On this Pope Francis said: “Communication has the power to build bridges, to enable encounter and inclusion, and thus to enrich society. How beautiful it is when people select their words and actions with care, in the effort to avoid misunderstandings, to heal wounded memories and to build peace and harmony” (Message of the Holy Father Pope Francis for the 50th World Communications Day – 24 January 2016).
- Clearly, virtual communication is part of economic and political systems and ideologies. Therefore, communication always requires ethics at a personal and social level. An anthropological aspect of communication in its essence is the integral and total vision of communication, where the virtual-real, real-virtual dimensions are integrated.
PART 10: COMMUNICATION AND SALESIAN PASTORAL MINISTRY
- Salesian pastoral ministry has the Salesian charism as its root and source. The Salesian mission of educating and evangelising young people, especially the poorest, is a gift and a commitment of all the members of the Salesian Family. Young people are our main beneficiaries: the reason for our mission.
- Communication is at the service of the Salesian charism and mission. Therefore, communication works in synergy and collaboration with youth and missionary ministry, vocational and formation ministry.
- Shared mission is, therefore, a fundamental aspect of the pastoral methodology of communication.
- Communication plays an important role in dialogue and pastoral discernment in the face of reality.
- A continuous and wide-reaching study is necessary to understand the human, cultural, economic, social, political, ethical and religious phenomena of each society in which we work with our target groups to find, together with educators, families, a path of dialogue between the Gospel, the preventive system and the new realities of the world of health, social distancing and its consequences in terms of communication, especially in the virtual world.
PART 11: COMMUNICATION, PRESENCE AMONG AND FOLLOW-UP OF THE YOUNG
- Our task, above all in accompanying the young, must be characterised by the creative pedagogical and spiritual capacity typical of our Father Don Bosco, by means of which we are able to overcome our remoteness from the sensitivity of the new generations, offering them a loving ear and compassionate understanding, prompting the great questions about the mystery of life and helping them to seek the Lord to meet with him. (Rector Major)
- It was precisely the 26th General Chapter that tackled all this by reflecting on Don Bosco’s motto: “Da mihi animas, cetera tolle”. So then, with today’s insight and with the understanding of our reality, I think I can say that for us it is necessary and urgent that our Congregation live, breathe and continue on its path, endeavouring to make the “Da mihi animas, cetera tolle” a reality through proclamation of the Gospel on behalf of our young people and for our own good. (Rector Major)
It is urgent that we give absolute priority to the commitment to evangelise the young with conscious, intentional and explicit proposals. We are invited to introduce them to Jesus and the Good News of the Gospel for their lives.
It is urgent that we help the young (and their families) to discover the presence of Christ in their lives as the key to happiness and the meaning of their existence.
It is urgent that we accompany children, teenagers and older youth in their process of education to the faith, so that they may personally embrace the person of Christ.
It is urgent that we be “true educators” who accompany the young from personal experience in dialogue with God in prayer and in the celebration of the sacraments.( GC 28)
PART 12: COMMUNICATION, FORMATION, ACTION BY YOUNG PEOPLE AND THE LAITY
- The digital world always requires continuous updating by everyone. The ability to interpret the cultural and social reality in which Salesians work and to use new technologies to respond to these needs is part of the dynamism of the Salesian charism. As Don Bosco used to say: "Walk with the times".
- Communication with young people as the first key actors is the characteristic way of doing Salesian pastoral work. To involve young people so that they become key players, and authors in the world of communication and Salesian pastoral care.
- As the GC28 Working Document says: recognising that The digital environment characterises the contemporary world and now constitutes a natural habitat for many young people, which changes the way they access knowledge, establish relationships and perceive reality. For us Salesians it is a new mission land. Web and social networks are a two-faced reality: a place of meeting and communication.” (Instrumentum Laboris GC28, no. 1, pg. 7)
- The importance of forming confreres in public relations communication for crisis management.
PART 13: LOCAL COMMUNICATION, CULTURE AND THE ARTS
- Communication in a globalised world can never ignore the power of regional and local communication. Each community and each town has its own cultural identity, the values of its history and its heritage. These values express the way the people live, the way they create relationships, the way they use their symbols and languages, and therefore their own values and behaviours that define their communication policy.
- Communication is, in itself, a process of relationship, part of a system of encoded signs accepted and recognised internationally.
- Art is a universal language. Music, painting, dance, architecture and theatre are intrinsic expressions of communication. Don Bosco was able to integrate art into the heart of his educational system. He himself was an artist who used art to educate. New technologies are now integrated into art. Take into account: radio, cinema, theatre, music, the publishing world ...
PART 14: COMMUNICATION AND HUMAN FELLOWSHIP
- Communication has a fundamental role to play in times of crisis such as the current health crisis caused by Covid-19, in constructing new paradigms, in the process of educating the new generation for their active role in the family, school, Church and society.
- Together with youth ministry and the missions department, communication must be open to synergy and a collaborative vision to find creative responses at the pastoral and institutional level for the society of today and tomorrow.
- In the Congregation's communication planning, it is very important to have an integral and practical policy that can work together with the Institution in educating to communication that promotes life based on new paradigms.
- At this time of crisis and certainly the search for new economic, social, and educational paradigms, the proposal presented in Chapter 5 of Laudato Si' offers us, as a starting point, an expanded vision and some lines of direction and action for environmental, economic, and social conversion.
- This programme interpreted from within a Salesian perspective can make a significant contribution to communication today.
1) Dialogue on the environment in international politics;
2) Dialogue towards new national and local policies;
3) Dialogue and transparency in decision-making processes;
4) Politics and economy in dialogue for human fullness;
5) Religion in dialogue with science.
- 57. “Faith leads a believer to see in the other a brother or sister to be supported and loved. Through faith in God, who has created the universe, creatures and all human beings (equal on account of his mercy), believers are called to express this human fraternity by safeguarding creation and the entire universe and supporting all persons, especially the poorest and those most in need”. ( DOCUMENT ON HUMAN FRATERNITY FOR WORLD PEACE AND LIVING TOGETHER , Pope Francis, February, 2019).
PART 15: COMMUNICATION AND PASTORAL METHODOLOGY
- The methodology of communication must be in dialogue with the methodology of spirituality and pastoral ministry. Today, pastoral methodology follows the path of listening, discernment and life as a way of deepening the understanding of pastoral processes.
- In this sense, communication is not only technology, information and content. Communication is a process. Interaction is a process. While maintaining its identity and its epistemological nature, communication dialogues and interacts with pastoral ministry.
- The GC28 Working Document says that ““discernment is above all listening to God and his word, to the young and their appeals, to the experience of the Church and the Congregation. And finally also to the deep desire for goodness, fullness and joy that everyone carries within themselves.” (Instrumentum Laboris GC28, no. 2, p. 4).
- Discernment becomes a spiritual journey and a pedagogical methodology for working together
- Following this path, discernment offers a path where the steps are clear, yet processes are consistent and help us interpret reality. Discernment in communication helps us to communicate, starting our from a gospel perspective but one that is also consistent with reality.
- To this effect, “Discernment thus becomes a pastoral instrument, capable of identifying the paths to be taken, proposing ways and paths that are liveable for young people today, and offering orientations and convenient suggestions for the mission that are not pre-established around a table but are the fruit of a path that allows one to follow the Spirit. A path structured in this way invites us to be open and not be closed, to ask questions and raise questions without suggesting pre-packaged answers, to propose alternatives and explore opportunities." (Instrumentum Laboris CG28, no. 2, p. 4).
PART 16: VIRTUAL COMMUNICATION
- In recent times communication is changing rapidly: the transition from formal and technical communication to interactive communication; from structural communication to synergistic and convergent communication. This change puts the human person at the centre, with their right to express themselves, their freedom, their active role, their cultural, social and political identity.
- We really are part of a global village. The virtual world is a real world. The Internet opens us up to new forms of human contact.
- Virtual communication changes the method and style of people who communicate and participate in social life, especially through typical media culture, the Internet, the digital world and social media.
PART 17: INSTITUTIONAL COMMUNICATION
- Salesian institutional communication is defined by its values, its vision and its charismatic and educational mission expressed in the Salesian Constitution and Regulations.
- IC is organised on the basis of all the processes, procedures, organisational activities of animation and governance defined in its constitutions and regulations at congregational level.
- From its values, vision and mission, it has its social and educational responsibility towards people and societies.
- The various sectors of communication have the responsibility to work with institutional identity and unity to strengthen their own identity, community, and their credibility and visibility in society.
PART 18: COMMUNICATION ECOSYSTEM: INTERACTIVITY, DIGITAL ENVIRONMENT AND NETXWORKING
- The culture of the media has created an immersive communication, that is, with technologies that allow a person to “enter with the 5 senses” into the communication environment, as happens through a smartphone. This means that the world of the Internet is not a medium, not even a support, but a digital environment where images, texts, sounds, interactivity and its instantaneous nature all converge.
- The person, environment, media, content, interaction become a true communicative ecosystem. Living connected means being immersed in an ecosystem. Working, listening to music, watching a movie, chatting, buying, selling, finding friends, studying, researching, praying, and finally, communicating are all part of a great ecosystem.
- Eco (oikos-home) system – Ecosystem – expresses the interactive relationship of individuals with their environments, their culture, their artefacts, their relationship with nature, life, people, media, school, the community. "Communicative ecosystem" is what appears to be strategic, rather than the intervention of media; it is the appearance of a communicative ecosystem that is converting itself into something as vital as the green, environmental ecosystem" (Jesus Martin-Barbero, 1999).
- Communication as a system involves people in an integral way with the 'common home', as Pope Francis says in Laudato Si'. Similar to integral ecology, communication as an ecosystem represents a human, integral and collaborative vision.
- Within this ecosystem you can find people, along with technology, internet, social media, networks, communication systems. Communication is present in life, relationships, work, culture and the economy. The interactivity and instantaneous nature of communication is found in networking, in social media, in communication platforms happening within the ecosystem.
- Given this ecosystemic view of media culture, the way of constructing information through interactivity and immediacy offered by new technologies changes, as does the architecture of the new platforms, planning and development of systems, protocols, software, applications.
PART 19: DIGITISATION AND COMMUNICATIONS PLATFORMS
- A communication platform adapted to the new times permits the optimisation of the procedures of an institution with the aim of offering more human communication possibilities, facilitating and simplifying processes.
- With the ease of producing information, we have an immense amount of information coming in from so many people and places in text, image, sound, video, etc. This production and sharing of information is positive, but it is necessary to simplify the way information is circulated. Hence, the communication platform and unified communication are fundamental in the information society.
- The integration of unified communication facilitates the simplification of real-time communication services (chat, email, IP telephony, video conferencing, shared services, information regarding presences, among others). Together with the up-dating of technology and platform, we need to update the profiles of people who will work directly in communication, change the organisational structure and flow chart, reorganise the manner of production and diffusion of the message.
- Our Publishing Houses, the BS, the Graphics, Sites, ANS and other services must be updated with these new criteria. The creation of networking and communication agencies in each region of the Congregation will give more energy and opportunity for participation for Salesians, the Salesian Family, lay people and young people in the production and sharing of content and information.
- Digital platforms facilitate human relationships, offering fast and practical interaction between people, between the Central Office and Provinces, for example, Departments and other services. The concept of platform in the digital age grows and offers more quality and participation of people (users) in the platform, be it writing, reading and sharing information.
- To this effect, today we speak of a digital experience platform and digital transformation, with the objective of fostering greater authorship and engagement of people in the values, proposals and mission of the institution.
- 83 The updating of the digital platform always requires a monitoring of the platform, of the level of people's participation, how they evaluate their experience in the platform (DXP - Digital Experience Platforms are an example). However, it is important to add other ways to ensure this evaluation is always updated.
- Creating an up-to-date digital environment is fundamental in terms of the technical aspect (intranets, Mobile Apps, Sites, Social Media) and the aspect of participation, interaction, information creation and visibility.
- Given a digital communication platform, the institution has the possibility of creating a quality video conferencing system that facilitates distance learning (distance courses, EAD), meetings, marketing, work sharing and projects, directly from the Centre for the Region and Provinces, for example.
PART 20: MOBILE COMMUNICATION AND SHARED NETWORKS
- The internet of things (IoT) is a reality that's advancing, along with super-intelligence. This means a big change in digital culture. IoT means that connection via wireless and cable forms part of objects in our daily life, from the way we listen to music to the way we control the key to the house; our way of shopping to the way we control energy in the house. It means that anything can contain a chip. Everything is connected and controlled remotely. IoT refers to ubiquitous connectivity, communication and non-stop transaction.
- Mobile communication, especially through the mobile phone, is today the way people talk to others, read, buy, share news, photography, music, connect with the economic, cultural and social world, and participate instantaneously and interactively in the complex reality of the communicative ecosystem.
- Together with a team of Salesians and lay experts in communication, it is essential to further explore and integrate into our work aspects of Artificial Intelligence, to understand the phenomenon of Post-truth better, how visual communication, management and marketing communication are applied. Updating, using and being open to integrating new technologies in education, and following new trends in technology such as: Telepresence (Suitable Technologies - ST)/ Telepresence Robots- "Skype Online Voice Routes" (Beam), Virtual Worlds (Augmented Reality), Brain Computer Interface (BCI), Neurocience.
- The processes of creation and production of communication through radio, television, newspapers, websites and videos require knowledge of digital technologies, work sharing and dissemination of the message through networks.
- The use of new information technologies, the construction of communication platforms will facilitate shared work in networks. This requires a change of mentality towards communication. Opening our minds up to a communication that requires not only the use of cutting-edge technologies, but above all, a new approach where discernment is fundamental for communication to be a way of pastoral conversion and witnessing to the Gospel.
PART 21: DIGITAL ASSETS MANAGEMENT (DAM)
- Digital assets are files such as videos, photos, documents and other media. Today, digital assets are growing exponentially as the creation and sharing of digital content increases. DAM solves one of the biggest problems most organisations have today – an overabundance of digital content. The DAM solution takes this content and stores it centrally for all departments and for quick access. With DAM we can secure, organise and search for digital assets easily. If this is a collective effort internationally it could be both cost effective and state of the art.
PART 22: COMMUNICATION AND CULTURAL AND HERITAGE ASSETS
- A scientific and pastoral management of the historical heritage and of the Salesian artistic production (music, theatre, film, dance, literature) is necessary: A Dob Bosco Sciences, Arts and Culture Portal: emphasise the cataloguing, digitisation, legalisation and availability of the material of the portal for consultation, research by young people, students, SF members, researchers.
A - Youth - B – Artistic heritage - Painting - Architecture
C – Visual Communication (video and photos) and film
D – Musical heritage (audio)
E - Heritage - Archaeology
F - Heritage – Anthropology and Missiology
G – Don Bosco Studies
H- Salesian holiness
I - Salesianity
J – World and youth culture
- Don Bosco database of Salesian music collected from all over the Salesian world and made available on YouTube and other networks for the animation of Youth Ministry and the Salesian Family
PART 23: LIVING THE “SALESIAN SACRAMENT “OF PRESENCE
- “Let each Salesian find the time to be present with the young as a friend, educator and witness to God, whatever his role in the community may be”.
Despite the fact that it seems strange that I have to ask a Salesian to find the time to be with young people, I consider it extremely necessary.
- Foster an effective and affective presence among and with the young, in communion of life and action. And to enhance and relaunch the good experience and the renewed role of the assistant, not only for the practical trainee but for the entire life of the Salesian of Don Bosco.
- Ensure the style of the oratory setting in every presence: climate of familiarity, welcome and acceptance, spirituality and the dimension of profound joy.
- Accompany the energy young people have by fostering their active role and leadership in every house and in the Salesian mission that is carried out there.
- Ensure the presence of formators in the formation communities where the Salesian spirit is communicated in the first instance through example: being among them, strongly helping the young confreres to be primarily responsible for their own formation.
- Engage the Social Communication Department, at various levels, in offering resources and stimuli for a constant process of verification, updating, inculturation of the Salesian mission in the digital habitat where young people live, involving our universities in a network with other centres and agencies that more closely follow and study the transformations that the digital world is bringing among the new generations.
PART 24: PLANNING AND THE COMMUNICATION PLAN
- Our planning must take into account:
- the objective of GC28 with its three themes: Priority of the Salesian mission among today's youth; Profile of the Salesian for today's youth; Together with the laity in mission and formation
- the objectives and proposals of the Rector Major and the General Council - Programme for this six-year period.
- the historical journey of the Congregation regarding communication, the reality of the change that is taking place in today's world with the crisis of Covid-19 and the educational and cultural challenges of the world of youth in the culture of the media.
PART 25: MARY HELP OF CHRISTIANS, WOMAN OF COMMUNICATION
- The example of communicating the Gospel
- The annunciation, the visit to Isabel, the Cana wedding, Mary near of the Cross, Mary witness to the Resurrection, Mary at the Cenacle
 GC26, “Da mihi animas, cetera tolle”, no.14.