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Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Thailand to host Catholic communicators

THE World Catholic Association for Communication otherwise known as SIGNIS, has announced the dates of the next SIGNIS World Congress to be held in Chiang Mai, Thailand.

The Congress is usually a gathering of communication professionals from all over the world.

A press statement from SIGNIS indicated that the congress has been scheduled to hold from October 17 through 21, 2009, with the theme “Media for a Culture of Peace: Children’s Rights, Tomorrow’s Promise.”

This came at the end of its meeting in Rome, recently, the SIGNIS-World Board of Trustees also celebrated the 80th anniversary of the association by confirming its mission in the new communication era and refreshed its management team with the appointment Mr. Alvito De Souza as the new Secretary General of the body.

The SIGNIS Board of Trustees, which met in Rome from November 20 to 26, 2008, also confirmed the dates and venue for the SIGNIS World Congress 2009.

According to the press statement, the 2009 Congress is intended to highlight the need to promote children’s rights and a culture of peace and encourage communicators to make children’s rights a priority in their work.

The meeting also marked the opening of the SIGNIS 80th anniversary celebrations. SIGNIS organized a joint seminar with the Fondazione Ente dello Spettacolo, member of SIGNIS in Italy, which celebrated 80 years of the Catholic film magazine Rivista del Cinematografo, and SIGNIS Services Rome, which turned 50 years, at Vatican Radio on Monday 24 November.

The seminar was attended by Mgr Claudio Maria Celli, President of the Pontifical Council for Social Communications, Fr. Federico Lombardi, Director of Radio Vatican and CTV and Head of the Vatican Press Office, Cardinal John Foley and Dr. Maria Elisa Marzotti of Save the Children.

Speaking at the event, Archbishop Celli praised the contribution of SIGNIS, in “assisting Christian communicators in living out their vocation in solidarity with one another” and pointed to two challenges facing Catholic communicators.
“The first is trying to better understand our modern cultures and how the new communications technologies are influencing and informing them.

“The second challenge is the need to focus more efforts on the formation of Catholic communicators so that they become not only professionals in the use of new technologies but also well grounded Christian communicators who understand the culture, context and trends, and are better able to adapt to the new communications panorama in order to share the Good News of Jesus Christ through their testimony and work,” he asserted.

In this respect the Archbishop said, “We are not promoting schools of fundamentalism”, but “real dialogue” and “proper respect”.

In the framework of the 80th anniversary celebrations, two SIGNIS meetings took place on November 23: the European meeting of the SIGNIS Media Education Project (SIGMEP-Europe) and the film seminar “Face for the Faceless”.

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