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TERAWI – Holy Nativity Church in Terawi celebrated the 48th World Communications Day (WCD) on 31 May 2014 with a Sunset Mass presided over by Fr Thomas Madanan, Assistant Rector of the Parish and Spiritual Adviser to the Catholic Archdiocesan Social Communications Commission of Kota Kinabalu.
Connecting his homily to this year’s theme of WCD set by the Holy Father, “Communication at the Service of a Culture of Encounter”, Fr Madanan highlighted the human need for both a vertical and horizontal communications. Prayer is our vertical means of communications with God. The various instruments/tools of communications — What’s Apps, Facebook, Twitter, and ICT among others, are the horizontal means/tools of communications in today’s social environment among peoples.
Citing that there are only 1% of social media users in the world inputting data, there is ample room for Catholics to make Jesus Christ present within the social media network and to tell of God’s love. He also pointed out that Pope Francis is exemplary in showing the proper way Catholics are to engage the use of the tools of media at the service of a culture of encounter.
WCD is the only worldwide yearly celebration called for by Vatican Council II (Inter Mirifica, 1963) to remind Catholics of their responsibilities to pray for all those involved in media and communications — film, radio, television, print, social media, media distributors and sellers and media practitioners, among many — and their obligations to contribute financially to the Church’s media apostolate.
At the end of Mass the congregation saw a seven-minute clip of the recently held Media Workshop at the Sacred Heart Cathedral and how it has impacted some participants, many of whom became aware that the tools of communications on their own is not a bane after all, but that it could also be a boon, depending on who employs such tools and their intent and purposes.
A fellowship dinner at the parish hall started off with a song, “Tell The World of His Love” sung by all. Social Communications Commission (SOCCOM) head, Irene Obon, briefly shared on how the Archdiocesan SOCCOM started 14 years ago and their activities to date; followed by media sub-committee chairman, Gideon Mosito who delved into the Tuaran social communications experience. Over dinner those present viewed a short video of the Good Friday Passion enactment at Duvanson, produced by Fr Madanan.
Two members of the Archdiocesan Catholic Social Communications Commission team, Cecilia Tan and Patricia Regis, along with Catholic Sabah Associate Editor, Agnes Chai and Catholic Sabah Chinese Section Editor Catherine Wan also attended the WCD celebrations at Holy Nativity Church, Terawi. – Irene Obon (SOCCOM)