KUALA LUMPUR – The three-day annual meeting of the Regional Commission for Social Communications (RCSC) of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Malaysia, Singapore and Brunei, (20-23 June 2016) ended with participants feeling they have had a fruitful encounter that would bear good fruit in time to come.
The meeting, held at the Archdiocesan Pastoral Centre of the Archdiocese of Kuala Lumpur, was attended by a group of 11 representatives from the Archdioceses of Kuala Lumpur, Kota Kinabalu and Kuching and the Dioceses of Brunei, Penang, Malacca-Johor, Miri and Sandakan.
Bishop Cornelius Sim from the Vicariate of Brunei, the President of the Regional Episcopal Commission for Social Communications (SOCCOM) of the Conference, was in attendance throughout the meeting.
Among other priests and religious present were Fr Robert Leong (Brunei), Fr Thomas Madanan (Kota Kinabalu), Fr Clarence Devadas (Kuala Lumpur) and Sr Rosalie Lojiu, from the Daughters of St Paul (fsp), the chairperson of RCSC and chief organiser of the meeting.
The theme for the meeting ‘Media, a Fruitful Encounter and its Influence in the Family’ became the focal point that guided the conference proceedings.
Archbishop Julian Leow who presided over the opening Mass on June 20, urged the RCSC delegates to ensure that their actions to build the family and society would radiate the tenderness of God.
He also expressed the hope that the media that they use would influence Catholic families to reflect the meekness and mercy of Jesus Christ.
Representatives from various dioceses in the region had the opportunity to present a report on the implementation of plans, programmes and activities in their respective dioceses in the past year. It was from these reports that they saw the need for the sharing of resources.
Due to the unexpected reassignment of Sr Rosalie fsp, from Kuala Lumpur to Manila by end of July 2016, there was a need to elect an interim chairman for the 2016-2017 term of office.
Fr Thomas Madanan, the Spiritual Advisor of the Archdiocese of Kota Kinabalu SOCCOM was elected to fill the post. The vacant post of deputy chairman was filled by Clement Josos from the Malacca-Johor Diocese SOCCOM. Frank Saing will continue to serve as Secretary of RCSC.
When asked to comment on the outcome of the three-day RCSC meeting, Bishop Cornelius Sim said the message from Pope Francis for this year’s World Communications Day (WCD) provided very relevant material for the Commission’s sharing and planning this year.
He said the Pope’s focus on the family was providential, as social communications has had a major influence on this critical area of our society at this moment in history.
He expressed the hope that the RCSC encounter and joint efforts at its annual meeting in KL would bear good fruit in time to come.
Delegates who attended the RCSC meeting were: Dalius Lucius Lobinjang (Sandakan), Joseph Leong (Kota Kinabalu), Audrey Yu (Kuching), Frank Saing (Miri), Catherine Tan (Penang), Vincent Joseph (Penang) and Clement Josos (Malacca-Johor).
Also present at this year’s RCSC meeting were two representatives of SIGNIS Malaysia – Majella Gomes and Adeline James.
The meeting decided to invite SOCCOM of the Archdiocese of Kuching to host the RCSC annual meeting next year and the latest news is that they have accepted this proposal. The last time Kuching hosted such a meeting was in 2008.
Venues for the annual RCSC meeting in the last two years were, Penang in 2015 and Kota Kinabalu (Pace Bene) 2014. – Joseph Leong