TRIUCHY, MAY 11, 2011: We Salesians are into communication not because we are trained in communication or want to produce goods of communications, rather we become communicators because of the burning love for our Risen Savior within us and whom we want to present to the world and the young, said Fr. Filiberto Gonzalez Plasencia sdb, General Councilor for Social Communications.
Fr. Filiberto was addressing the delegates of the South Asia Salesian Social Communication Delegates Meet (SASSCom) at Tiruchy which was held from May 1 to May 5, 2011. The Social Communication delegates from the various Provinces attended the meeting along with the representatives of the FMA and Youth Ministry delegates.
You have not chose God He has chosen YOU to work for the young. Enlightening the delegates on the importance of communication especially for the Salesians in the On-going formation he said, as communicators we are working together to benefit the young. We must never forget at anytime that we are Salesians first whether we are writing an email or running a printing press. The center of communication should always be the love of Christ. The youth ministry, the mission and the social communication department needs to work together to fulfill the mission of Christ and Don Bosco.
Speaking on the changing times the General Councilor for Social Communications added, some confreres in our congregation lose focus because they are buried in their computers and gadgets. This resulted in them not just being involved in the sins against chastity, rather it turned them into individualists, egoistic people who were disconnected from people and especially the young. Their lives were no more authentic or true or centered around the love of God and the mission to spread His love among the young. Advising the delegates gathered Fr. Filiberto said, keep your values strong and your spirit even stronger rooted in a deeper spirituality, this is the on-going formation.
In the days that followed, discussions and presentations were held to share and assist each other in making social communications effective in our provinces and at the national level. It was collectively felt that it was high time that the Salesians especially from South Asia take up seriously the deliberations of the GC 26 which emphasizes the changing situations and new playgrounds that have moved the young from a more traditional playgrounds to a virtual world where they are exposed to a lot of opportunities and dangers at the same time. As Salesian communicators it has become inevitable that we enter into this world in order to form and guide them and especially to evangelize them.
Besides the discussions, the delegates and representatives from the eleven provinces presented their plans for social communication in their respective provinces. Discussions on collaborations, networking and working together as one region were also taken up.
The Secretary for Department of Social Communications, Fr. Julian Fox presented the newly formulated guidelines for the Salesian Congregation; the Salesian Social Communication System. The vision and mission of the congregation, the strategic objectives on Animation, Formation, Information and Production. The processes and their policies in planning, development and advancement and the support and integration of all our centers. He also presented various patterns followed around the world for a more effective communication and proposed for discussion some key features that could be adopted or followed in this region for a more effective communications. Fr. Julian recommended that it is almost mandatory that every province take up the issue of setting up an official Public
Relations Officer (PRO) He also conducted an input session on the use of Free/Libre Open Software Solutions (FLOSS) as a more convinced way of using the computer programme that is free of privacy and more still as a witness to what we profess and live.
On a lighter side the delegates and representatives together with the major superiors visited AMSAM, Aligah-Don Bosco media and Thanjavur the first Salesian presence in India.