This year, World Communications Day which occurred on May 17, fell between the 2014 Extraordinary Synod on the Family and 2015 Ordinary Synod on the Family which will take place October 4-25. For that reason, Pope Francis chose to focus his 2015 World Communications Day Message on the essential role of the family in communications.
In Communicating the Family: A Privileged Place of Encounter with the Gift of Love, Pope Francis calls attention to the fact that family is where we learn to communicate verbally and non-verbally, where we learn to relate to those who are different from us and to give and receive love across generations. The family is where we learn to communicate with God. Family is where we come to know our limitations and those of others. It is where we learn how to ask for and give forgiveness.
The Holy Father wrote:
The great challenge facing us today is to learn once again how to talk to one another, not simply how to generate and consume information.”
We learn this in family.
He also wrote:
[The family] is an environment in which we learn to communicate in an experience of closeness, a setting where communication takes place, a “communicating community”. The family is a community which provides help, which celebrates life and is fruitful. Once we realize this, we will once more be able to see how the family continues to be a rich human resource, as opposed to a problem or an institution in crisis.
In keeping with my ministry to help Catholic ministers use technology to advance the mission of the Church, I was happy to see that the Holy Father also devoted a paragraph to modern media and the family. Join me in reflecting on his words by viewing the video below. Click on the full screen icon in the lower right hand corner if you need a larger view.
What strikes you about the Holy Father’s comments on modern media? How can the Christian community support parents in their role as the primary educators of their children in the use of modern media?
If you did not read the Holy Father’s 2015 Message for World Communications Day, I encourage you to do so.