(ANS – Indianapolis) – Between 20 and 22 June at Indianapolis, United States, there was the Catholic Convention Media, an event which brought together about 400 journalists and media professionals from all round the world. Fr Michael Mendl, Coordinator of Communications in the East United States Province (SUE). was one of them.
This annual meeting is organised by the “Catholic Press Association” (CPA) which involves the Catholic media of the United States and Canada. The theme this year from St Paul was: “We, though many, are one body” (1 Cor 10).
The Convention provided a wide series of opportunities through workshops, round-table discussions, conferences, groups, reports to become familiar with the great variety of the Catholic Media. … Among the several keynote addresses greatly appreciated by those taking part was that by Archbishop Claudio Maria Celli, President of the Pontifical Council for Social Communications.
After making the point that they were many persons of diverse backgrounds, experiences and perspectives, but all members of one body in Christ, Archbishop Celli said that “striving for excellence,” both in faith and in work, is an ongoing, lifelong process of inner dialogue and conversion. Then referring to the Message of the Holy Father for the 46th World Communications Day he emphasised that “even more important than the new technologies are the new ways people relate to one another through social media, for example.”
The Archbishop then observed that communication reflects our participation in the creative, communicative and unifying Trinitarian Love which is the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit; and in conclusion suggested the following characteristics of Catholic communication: the search for truth, fairness in reporting, respect for human dignity, with a vocation to build up communion within and outside the Church, and to be missionary.
In one of the work-groups words of praise were also expressed regarding ANS, which according to some of the professionals in the field provides “the best news service from the religious institutes.”
In the course of the Convention there were the presentations of the “Saint Francis De Sales” Award - the highest honour bestowed on a individual by the CPA, in consideration of their “exceptional contribution to Catholic journalism”; and the “Presidential Medallion”, awarded by the Catholic Academy for Communication Arts Professionals as their highest honour, recognising lifetime achievement and service to Catholic communications.