Catholic Media Practitioners have been challenged to mobilize ways and means that will ensure the survival of diocesan newspapers and other publications of the Church, for the promotion of the evangelization apostolate within and outside the Church.
The call was made by the Co-Adjutor Archbishop of Abuja and Apostolic Administrator of Jos Archdiocese, Most Rev. Ignatius Kaigama while addressing members of the Catholic Media Practitioners of Nigeria (CAMPAN), during their 2019 National Convention, held, recently, at the Sacred Heart Pastoral Centre, Jos, Plateau State. The convention which was attended by about 60 delegates from all the nine Ecclesiastical Provinces of the Church in the country had: The New Media and Evangelization in Nigeria: A Reflection as its theme.
According to Archbishop Kaigama; members of CAMPAN have a primary challenge of ensuring that no diocesan newspaper goes out of circulation because of lack of patronage or lack of personnel. He emphasized that these organs are primary tools to CAMPAN for the propagation of the faith and they should therefore initiate means of ensuring their sustainability and survival.
Speaking on the theme of the convention, Archbishop Kaigama called on members of the organization to use the new media to propagate the Catholic faith and promote core Christian values. The Apostolic Administrator noted that the Church needs to be more visible and better propagated for the people to understand and embrace. He reminded CAMPAN members that they have the tools, professional ability and wherewithal to make this happen. He therefore urged them to positively use the social media for this purpose.
Archbishop Kaigama while assuring the members of the association of the support of the Bishops’ Conference in this respect; urged them to do everything within their professional ability to use the new media to improve the society and propagate positively the social values of the Church in every nook and crannies of the world, especially in Nigeria.
His words: “As Catholic Media Practitioners, your impact is felt in the nation; we are only asking you to do more. The Catholic Church needs to be better propagated, to be better understood by others, and you have the power to do this, by collaborating with us.”
He continued: “Use the new media to improve the society and propagate the faith and promote positive values and teachings of the Church. I assure you of the Bishops’ support and solidarity. I ask you to intensify your efforts in this respect, wherever you come from or in your diocese.”
In his welcome address at the opening ceremony, the National President of the association, Mr. Patrick Osu stated that the theme for the convention had been carefully chosen “to align with our current state of global media exigencies and seek for practical ways to rejuvenate our role and obligation towards the propagation of the truth, peace and justice.” He noted that a society that does not use the media is blind; adding that “the association has been able to strengthen and establish a strong media base for the Catholic Church in the country through various media affiliated callings in the industry.”
He therefore called on members of the association to imbibe discipline, sincerity of purpose, hard work and promotion of peace and harmony among the people. While regretting that communication is poorly funded in the country, the CAMPAN President stressed the importance of the social media to the communication apostolate of the Church, adding that they must however be used positively.
While advocating continuous training for Catholic communicators, especially those working in the Church media, Mr.Osu enjoined the members: “We are an association of the Catholic Church and as such, we should strive to be authentic and genuine in the messages we put across to the society.” He added: “Since charity begins at home, let us also always be mindful of what we post on our Whatsapp platform so that they will reflect what we are called to promote.”
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