May 26, 2016
“Love, by its very nature, is communication; it leads to openness and sharing.” Pope Francis
This statement, taken from the Holy Father’s Message for the 50th World Communications Day, gets to the heart of why the Catholic Church has relied on all forms of communication since St. Paul wrote his first epistle to the Christian community at Thessalonica. Consider, also, the Solemnity of the Most Holy Trinity which we just celebrated. It is a mystery we can only understand as God the Lover, Jesus the Beloved, and the Spirit who is Love. Communications is the means by which we are bound together with one another, when, at its best, we are sharing of ourselves with others, trusting then and listening in turn to their inner thoughts and concerns.
Our Holy Father goes on to point out that within a community, “Communication has the power to build bridges, to enable encounter and inclusion, and thus to enrich society.” He notes that it is possible “both in the material world and in the digital world.” He ties the noble purpose of true communication to the mission of this Year of Mercy: “to help wounded relationships and to restore peace and harmony.”
On next Sunday we conduct our annual Catholic Communications Campaign, as part of the universal church’s commemoration of the 50th World Communications Day. I ask you to pause and reflect on the fact that the Church must use all available means at her disposal – from traditional media to social media, from an email to one person to mass media – in order to evangelize. “The digital world is a public square, a meeting-place where we can either encourage or demean one another, engage in a meaningful discussion or unfair attacks,” writes Pope Francis. We must “go to the periphery” in person and in our messages, extending the invitation to come and share God’s love and mercy to all who seek hope in face of loneliness and despair.
I invite you to be generous in your response to this second collection at all Masses on the weekend of June 4 & 5. Help us extend the mercy of God through our communications on radio, television, and through effective media relations. We need to establish a stronger presence on the internet, while we help our parishes with their websites as well as email and social media outreach. As we finalize a diocesan-wide communications strategy this year to empower our parishes and diocese to convey effectively the joy of the Gospel, let us keep in mind these final thoughts of Pope Francis as our beacon: “In a broken, fragmented and polarized world, to communicate with mercy means to help create a healthy, free and fraternal closeness between the children of God and all of our brothers and sisters in the one human family.”
With every prayerful best wish, I remain
Sincerely yours in Christ,
Most Reverend Robert J. McManus, STD
Bishop of Worcester