WASHINGTON (April 30, 1999) -- In a letter sent to Catholic Bishops throughout the country, Bishop Robert N. Lynch said the best way to highlight the Pope's message for World Communications Day is through increased support for the Catholic Communication Campaign (CCC).
Mass Media: A Friendly Companion for Those in Search of the Father is the theme for the 33rd annual World Communications Day, which will be celebrated on May 16 this year. Pope John Paul II, in his message for the observance, emphasized the importance of the reciprocal relationship which exists between the Church and the media. The Pope reiterated the need to utilize the media as "a love which creates" and not a "force which destroys."
Bishop Lynch, of St. Petersburg, Fla., is Chairman of the Communications Committee of the United States Catholic Conference (USCC) which sponsors the CCC and its annual collection.
The Catholic Communication Campaign aids the Church's work of evangelization with values-driven messages spread through the mass media. The videos, films, radio and television public service announcements and other communication resources created by the CCC have won many national awards and been cited for their compelling content and impressive production values.
CCC is also the focal point of the Strategic Plan for Conference Communications adopted by the Catholic Bishops of the United States in 1996.
A key element of the strategic plan is a de facto partnership between the Conference and local Catholic dioceses to encourage and promote the most outstanding broadcast specials, documentaries and PSAs available in the world of Catholic media today. CCC has recently heightened its promotion efforts by implementing a targeted campaign to enhance awareness of its work.
These efforts have included ongoing communication with diocesan directors and offering them suggestions to help promote the collection--50% of which stays at the local level for diocesan communication work. In addition, through the Proclaim newsletter, the CCC has reached out to all Catholic communicators with a column entitled Implementing the Strategic Plan, which highlights successful CCC promotion practices throughout many dioceses.
"The CCC can support the Pope's message for World Communication Day with a successful appeal whether it is taken on the national date or at some other time," Bishop Lynch told the Bishops. "Even if you provide a donation to the CCC or combine your efforts with other national collections, I hope you will consider increasing the amount of funds. The CCC can continue to implement media projects that provide positive images as alternatives to the violence and emptiness that is so pervasive in today's media."
World Communications Day is an observance recommended by the Second Vatican Council (1962-1965) as an occasion for prayer, reflection and study centering on communications media and the responsibility of Catholics toward them.