Today, January 24th, is one of my favorite days of the year. Not only is it the day before the Feast of the Conversion of St. Paul, and the feast day of St. Francis de Sales (who is patron of journalists, and a saint that I’m coming to appreciate more and more as a marvelous model for Catholic communicators), but it’s also the day that the Pope publishes his message for World Communications Day. This year’s message is wonderful: Communication at the Service of an Authentic Culture of Encounter (for the 48th World Day of Communications on June 1, 2014).
As I’ve been listening to and praying with the messages and reflections of Pope Francis, I’ve been struck by his emphasis on encounter, which I see as the “how” or the style of true communication. Encounter is not just the theme of this message, it’s also how Pope Francis communicates. Today in his message, he unpacks this theme a little more for us as writers. Here is one of my favorites quotes (so far):
It is not enough to be passersby on the digital highways, simply “connected”; connections need to grow into true encounters. We cannot live apart, closed in on ourselves. We need to love and to be loved. We need tenderness. Media strategies do not ensure beauty, goodness and truth in communication. The world of media also has to be concerned with humanity, it too is called to show tenderness.
Pope Francis reminds us, as Catholic communicators, that we are called to show tenderness in our communication. What a profound reminder of our humanity and our identity as belonging to Christ! Today, all writers and communicators will be in my prayers, as we celebrate the immense possibilities of our calling to foster true connection, encounter, and communion: within ourselves, with the human family, and with God.