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Inspiring Youth and Media Seminar in Mt Hagen

  • Abigail Seta and Fr Ambrose Pereira sdb


Mt Hagen: The Third Youth and Media Seminar with 21 participants from the Highlands region was hosted by the Archdiocese of Mt Hagen from 6th to 10th August, 2018 at Rebiamul, Mt Hagen.  


The Archdiocese of Mt Hagen, Diocese of Mendi, Diocese of Wabag and Diocese of Kundiawa participated in the seminar.  


The Pastoral Letter of the Catholic Bishops Conference of Papua New Guinea and Solomon Islands with its theme for the Year of Youth 2018: Called to the fullness of Life and Love, formed the content of the seminar.


“We pray that young people can live their Catholic faith, vocation and celebrate the Sacraments of life and love”, said Fr Ambrose Pereira sdb, CBC’s Secretary for communication and youth. 


“Our key focus is our young people and youth ministry.  Use this seminar to understand the message of Life and Love and use the media to share your insights.  Learn a variety of skills and share them with the young people in your dioceses,” Fr Ambrose said as he introduced the program to the participants.


On Tuesday, 7thAugust the session entitled, ‘Lord give me water’ enabled the participants get a glimpse of the situation of young people and the need to reach out to help them.  The participants shared and discussed the issues of the young and possible ways to listen and accompany them on their journey of life.  


The second session saw Fr Martin We-en of Radio Maria speak to the participants on radio dramas and jingles.  In an introduction to the radio, he focused on the limitations and advantages of the radio. The participants were then given the opportunity to record jingles.  These were edited by Trinity FM radio personnel. 


“When listening to jingles, it may sound easy but when it comes to editing and putting things together, it is quite difficult but I’m happy that the participants were able to produce lively jingles,” said Fr Martin. 


The care of equipment and the basics of photography were presented in the third session.  The participants worked in groups to shoot photographs that communicate a positive message. 


‘The Journey’, a vocation film, was then screened in the evening session. Sharing their reflections, the participants realized that the media is a powerful tool and can be used to evoke discussions, insights and reflections for life.


One of the issues highlighted was the use of social media and technology by the young people as a distraction. “Social media and mobile phone usage is a distraction for many of the young people today and many of our Catholic youth are distracted by this.  Hence, they are not able to achieve their goal,” said Fr Peter Kaupa, Rebiamul parish priest.

On the 2ndday Fr Ambrose Pereira sdb, highlighted life and love from the Pastoral Letter of the Year of Youth, 2018.  “The Sacrament of the Eucharist and the Sacraments of Reconciliation is very important.  We have to choose Christ and go out and evangelize,” Fr Ambrose stated. “We want our Catholic youth to have faith, discern God’s call and do things as God wants us to.”


He emphasised that the young need to stay pure till they celebrate the Sacrament of Marriage. He also highlighted many social issues such as violence and lifestyle choices. 


On the second session, Abigail Seta, Journalist and Assistant to the CBC SOCOM secretary, gave a presentation on writing articles and highlighted most importantly the 5W’s and 1 H. “When writing articles, it is important to use the 5W’s and 1H because every reader who reads an article, wants to understand what your story is about,” Ms Seta stated.  The participants were then given the opportunity to write an article and share what they wrote with each other. 


Trinity FM’s program manager, Fidelis Sope, took the third session and interviewed the participants on the seminar.  He spoke about the use of radio equipment, how to use and take care of them.  “We must look after the equipment, and treat the microphone, as your friend. If you scream into the mic, your voice becomes distorted. This technology has to reach many listeners,” he stated. 


The second day of the seminar ended with a night session that saw discussions of the day and screening of films. One of the films shown was ‘My little story’ by Jeffrey Katusele.  It dealt with the inspiring life of Archbishop Francisco Panfilo sdb.


The ‘Problem Tree’ dwelt by Fr Ambrose gave the participants an opportunity to look at the issues they face in their own diocese.  Unwanted pregnancy, tribal fighting, racism, seasonal youths and poverty emerged as issues to be dealt with.


Several issues arise from an unwanted pregnancy.  “Issues such as abortion leads to health issues.  If a mother chooses to give up her child, the child will be parentless and be discriminated from family and community,” said Trevor Namalok, a youth from the Archdiocese of Mt Hagen. 


In the second session, Abigail Seta went through the Anatomy of a newspaper and newsletters.  Participants then worked on their newsletters. Fr Peter Kopil, Archdiocese parish priest of Nondugl, Mt Hagen, presented the newsletter of the Archdiocese. 


A much-loved session was the radio drama session presented by Fr Martin We-en, director of Radio Maria.  “Make sure that your voice is clear and we, as the listener, have to be able to clearly recognise the emotion in your voice,” said Fr Martin.  The radio dramas focused on issues that are faced by the youth today.  Many of the participants expressed gratitude at being able to learn something new about the media that they will use to help youths in their respective dioceses. 


“The level and the approach the CBC group took in all the sessions was friendly and each day was filled with new blessings. From this seminar, I am inspired to use what I have learnt to teach others in my parish and in my diocese and I hope to bring out good news to others through the different mediums of communication taught.” Emmanuel Kipan, a participant from the Diocese of Wabag.


A concluding mass on Friday, August 10thwas celebrated by Archbishop Douglas Young SVD, Archbishop of Mt Hagen.  He encouraged the participants and the facilitators to assist their parishes and dioceses and use what they have learnt during the seminar.

The media and youth education seminar ended on a high note with tokens of appreciation and speeches from the participants. 

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