The Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Nigeria (CBCN) Episcopal Chairman for Social Communications, Most Rev. Denis Isizoh has declared that there is no room for half measure performance in the communication apostolate of the Church, considering the challenges of modern day communication technology.
Bishop Isizoh, who is also the Auxiliary Bishop of Onitsha Archdiocese, made this declaration while addressing the opening ceremony of the second Plenary meeting of Diocesan/Religious Directors of Social Communications, held, recently at the Jubilee Hotel and Resorts, Enerhen, Effurum, Warri, Delta State.
Conducting an “identification/job description exercise” of diocesan directors of communication at the meeting; the Bishop Chairman noted that in the context of the present day communication technology, the work of Church communication directors deserves full time attention, passion and commitment on the part of the occupier of the position; adding that this might not be possible where they are loaded with other pastoral positions that demand equal or more attention.
Bishop Isizoh noted that some directors of communications are overburdened with multiple pastoral duties that they hardly have the needed time to really develop communications apostolate in the Archdioceses or dioceses.
The Social Communications Directorate Chairman pointed out that a diocesan communications director cannot combine his work with many other pastoral responsibilities, as these might demand conflicting attention and affect his performance. He disclosed that the exercise was to enable him know the responsibilities of the directors in their various official capacities and identify the challenges they may be facing in this perspective.
Bishop Isizoh also used the occasion to remind the directors of the need to have all the various organs of Signis Nigeria established in their various dioceses and effectively mentor them to efficiency and the standard required, to make the communication apostolate of the Church in the country more vibrant and service delivery oriented in all ramifications.
On the use of the social media to boost the evangelization mission of the Church, Bishop Isizoh called on the directors and all Catholic Media Professionals and practitioners to maximize the opportunities at their disposal in this respect. He reminded the directors that WhatsApp forum is not for celebrating birthdays alone, but also for sharing relevant good stories emanating from different corners of the country. He added that Catholic newspapers should not continue to relegate church stories to the background. His words: “If you don’t announce yourself, nobody will know about you. Let’s promote Church stories and get the required attention to enable people have access to church news.”
Speaking on the effect of the media on the Nigeria nation, Bishop Isizoh expressed concern that: We are losing so much positive esteem in Nigeria due to so much bad news emanating from the country, the nation is losing much positive self-esteem”.
The Bishop called on Catholic Journalists to rise up and the hope to Nigeria and the world through positive stories about the country. He also used the occasion to advice all church print media to diversify from printing of Church newspapers, bulletins and documents alone, but also engage in other printing jobs to enhance productivity and revenue.
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