After the initial prayer video and words of welcome by Fr. Gildásio, and a brief presentation by each of the participants, the first part of the agenda was dedicated to thanking Fr. Bob Gardner, the Social Communication delegate of the Great Britain province, who had been the Social Communication Coordinator for this region for the past few years, and the assuming of this new responsibility by Fr. Mariuz Jawny, Social Communication delegate of the Poland Wroclaw province. The Councillor for Social Communication, Fr. Gildásio thanked all the delegates for their work, and expressed that he was truly concerned about assisting and guiding each one of them in their mission. Fr. Roman, the Regional appreciated all the delegates for their contribution in the region and highlighted the extensive use of the online platforms and exhorted everyone to master those skills, that could help them in the communication mission.
The common programmes planned for the second semester which involved their participation and preparation were also discussed. Fr. Gildásio, gave a brief overview of the Salesian School of Social Communication, and how the themes chosen aimed at fulfilling the plans of the congregation and the dicastery, keeping in mind the need of each region. He also mentioned how the other regions had already planned their programmes, and affirmed that the common programmes offered from the centre would set a good base to all the participants. He invited all the members to participate actively in the meetings, and affirmed that that there could be lot of flexibility in the choice of themes, resource persons, duration of the course etc. The first phase of the programmes planned were:
a) Biblical dimension of Communication - reading communication in the perspective of Emmaus – by Fr. Gildásio Mendez - General Council for Communication,
b) Synodal Dimension of Communication by Fr. Harris Pakkam, Member of the Sector of Communication, Rome
c) Salesian Dimension of Communication by Fr. Ricardo Campoli - Member of the Sector of Communication, Rome
d) Institutional Dimension of Institutional Communication by Dr. Fabrizio Vignati, Lay expert from the Salesian Province of North Italy and
e) Communication and Youth Pastoral Dimension by Fr. Miguel Angel, General Councillor for Youth Pastoral.
Fr. Mariuz, coordinated the second part of the discussion with the participants and the topics suggested for the second phase of formation were the following:
1. Seeking Truth through media (recognizing and fighting fake news).
2. Problems and Challenges related to Internet Security.
3. How to utilize effectively the available tools for our apostolate through online communication?
4. Crisis Communication and Intervention
5. Understanding the Corporate Identity of the Salesian Order & Marketing and Promotion in the Salesian Style.
6. Unity and Efficacy of Pastoral work for the benefit of youth in Secular Environments.
7. Understanding and mastering the Google tools and practical applications for social communication.
The delegates agreed that the formative programmes could be scheduled on a monthly basis for two hours, and that simultaneous translation could also be offered, for those who could not understand English. Fr. Mariusz concluded that the themes would be presented and suggestions regarding the speakers could also be made. It was a good interaction that provided useful insights on the context and challenges faced by each delegate, and how networking and good formation could enable them to communicate effectively.