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KUCHING – Kuala Lumpur Archdiocese led the sharing of online resources among the dioceses during the Regional Commission on Social Communications (RCSC) meeting on 12-14 June 2017.
Participants came from Kuala Lumpur (KL), Kota Kinabalu (KK), Kuching Archdioceses and from the dioceses of Sandakan, Miri, Melaka-Johor, Penang and from the Brunei Vicariate. There were no representatives from Keningau, Sibu and Singapore.
Before the opening Mass, Archbishop Simon Poh welcomed the participants to Kuching for their annual meeting and then left for another function.
Bishop Cornelius Sim, the episcopal president, presided over the opening Mass at the Archdiocesan Curia and Cathedral Pastoral Centre. Joining him at the altar were Fathers Thomas Madanan (KK), Robert Leong (Brunei), Felix Au (Kuching), and Peter Anthoney (KL).
In his keynote address based on the pope’s World Day of Communications message (Communicating Hope and Trust in Our Time), Bishop Sim called on the members to use the Jesus lens to see peoples and events as “compassion is colour blind,” and to have more human-interest stories in their media reports and posts.
The participants listened to three talks pertaining to Islamisation Strategies and Media Usage (Father Felix Au), Youth and Social Media (Ralph Balan), and Laudato Si (Margaret Chan), with group discussion on the last two topics.
Of interest was the visit to the Archdiocesan Gallery on the history of Christianity in Sarawak with Fr Au as guide before the talks on youth and social media and on Laudato Si.
The first day ended with the viewing of “Wonder Woman” at Viva City Mall, with its many Christian themes relevant to the communications ministry.
On the second day, Karen Arukesamy shared on Signis Malaysia Journalism Desk and encouraged the representatives to apply for Signis funding. The groups then presented the summary of their discussions and plans of action.
The election of office bearers 2017-2019 took place before lunch. The assembly unanimously retained Father Madanan as chairman, elected Sister Anna Yap fsp (KK) as deputy chairperson, Ignatius Krishnan (KL) as secretary, and Joyce Ting (Kuching) as assistant secretary.
After lunch, each arch/diocese/organisation presented its report on the various activities carried out.
After presenting his report, Krishnan offered his expertise and online resources to the other participants so that together they can harness the communications media for evangelisation.
In his closing remarks, Bishop Sim proposed the icon of the Samaritan Woman representing those looking for living water which has been entrusted to the Church. He said Catholic media can bring seekers to the font of the living water in the digital world.
The bishop also thanked the participants for their presentations and said this year’s meeting was an eye-opening event, enabling them to move forward to the next level. He called on the new office bearers to find ways to meet together (either through video conferencing or another way) to plan for the next meeting.
He then thanked the outgoing office bearers – Fr Madanan, Frank Saing and Clement Josos- for their services and welcomed the new office bearers.
The Brunei prelate also expressed his thanks to Kuching SOCCOM headed by Stella Chin for hosting the event.
The meeting ended with a closing Mass presided by Abp Poh and a fellowship dinner at the Sarawak Club.
The next meeting will be hosted by Keningau Diocese on 18-21 June 2018.