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  • Nigel Akuani

CBC observes World Communication Day and International Families Day

Port Moresby: In commemoration of World Communication Day (WCD) and International Families Day (IFD), the Catholic Bishops Conference of PNGSI hosted a detailed two-hour panel discussion that highlighted the days’ significance.

The discussions held on 14th May 2021, at the Catholic Bishops Conference in Waigani and shared via Social Media platform Zoom, had as its panelists Rev. Fr. Ambrose Pereira, Social Communications Secretary; Mr. Paul Harricknen, President of Catholic Professionals Society; Bishop of Vanimo, Francis Meli; Mr. Jimmy Son, President PNG Computer Society and Elizabeth Aribi, Youth Secretary. Also present were the staff of CBC and journalists.

The tribute began with a panel discussion that focused on Truthfulness in Communication and an Appreciation of Journalists, Responsibility of Catholic families and their benefits, Uses of Internet and Families in Modern Communication, and a sharing and insight on the role of youths and parents. World Communication Day that falls on 16th May has its theme: “Come and See,” while International Families Day on 15th May is entitled: ‘’Our Daily Love-in Family”.

Emphasizing the importance of WCD, Fr Ambrose, recalled the message of Pope Francis for WCD and urged that journalists and all Christians leave their comfort zones and encounter first-hand the lives of people at the grassroot level. “We need to get up from the back of our black-mirrored screens and go out into the streets to encounter people face-to-face, only then will we know and understand their situations,” he said.

He stressed the need for communicating the truth for the common good of all people. “Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, we need to openly speak about the stories and issues faced by the oppressed, suffering, poor, voiceless and faceless. Our reporting requires that we encounter people and report ensuring that the truth is clearly stated,” he said.

Reflecting on IFD, Mr Harricknen, dwelled on the aspect of Family and Marriage and described a family’s love as an institution that was the hallmark of God’s love for humanity. “Marriage and family are an institution built for the experience of God’s love and for this very love to be shared for society’s wellbeing,” he stated.

“To be happy and joyful, families need to be prayerful and God-centered in all that they do and to never lose sight of these values that he has shown and granted us,” said Bp Francis as he spoke about the love of God in marriage and family and his call to cherish and nourish it.

Giving an insight on the use of Modern Communication, Mr Jimmy Son, cautioned how people now tended to reference their mobile phones as a source of information and truth amidst an increase in disinformation and fake news. However, he maintained that such tools should be used as platforms to ease communication and improve lives.

Ms Elizabeth Aribi, Youth Secretary, said parents were a source of encouragement for their kids and urged for them to be more aware and caring of how their children felt and acted. “Parents build that foundation of love and a safe space for your child. They need to know where to go to when they are in trouble. Young people it is your responsibility to use technology to enhance and enrich your lives to build better relationships with your family and community,” she said.

Reflecting on the use of modern technology to change and improve lives, Ms Helen Oa, Human Resources Manager of CBCPNGSI, extended her thanks to all who contributed in making the celebration a success. “I feel deeply gratified that this gathering has come to celebrate these global events and provide a platform and forum which brings together different members and stakeholders to take stock of the progress as well as the challenges made in the Communications arena and the demonstration of our Love in our Family units, and to suggest ways forward to improve,” she said.

A ‘Question-and-Answer’ session immediately followed the discussion that had audience members eager to raise their queries with the panelists. A closing prayer given by Fr Giorgio Licini PIME, General Secretary of CBCPNGSI, formally ended the discussion before panelists and audience indulged themselves with a round of light refreshments. The program was an initiative of Sr Lucy and the family Life Commission.

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