Indian deacons learn to use media as tool for evangelization
By Agnel Maria
Forty deacons from St. Peter’s Pontifical Institute recently underwent a 4-day media training program initiated by the Conference of Catholic Bishops of India (CCBI).
The collaborative initiative with the Archdiocesan Communications Centre took place at AVE Studios, Paalanaa Bhavana, Bangalore, India.
All participating deacons were in the final stage of their seminary formation, and the training was part of their pastoral diploma course. The training took place on 23-26 August.
The training course curriculum incorporated a wide variety of topics, including Modern Christian Apologetics: becoming effective evangelizers through the media, Integrating Media in Liturgy, Digital Media Mission, Principles of Civil Communication, and Public Relations as strategic intelligence for the 21st century.
Additionally, topics such as media habits in the daily life of a consecrated religious, Design Thinking, and identifying resources for effective media ministry were covered to aid in developing action plans.
The training was delivered through practical sessions, including both visual and audio mediums, along with individual exercises.
The CCBI has always been dedicated to spreading the Good News and amplifying the works of the Church through various media tools. Prior training programs in Public Relations had discussed topics related to the role of Catholics.
According to a press release, the deacons were inspired to creatively talk about Jesus to many people through the various media tools. They were also motivated to explore various ways to engage a younger audience through creative media content to bring them closer to Christ.
The training also educated them on building personal and institutional branding, preparing them for a professional work environment.
According to the student representative from the Thanjavur Diocese, "This course sharpened our ability to stay aligned with the world and to reach people as Jesus did in the past. In earlier times, there was no print or electronic media for publicity."
"In today's high-tech media landscape, every religious and spiritual organization seeks and employs media coverage to spread their thoughts for the greater good," said Deacon A. Walter.
"Facing the camera was quite interesting; it helped us understand how to stand, use gestures, and adopt postures," added a deacon from the Diocese of Chikmagalur. "It also helped us overcome our fear of facing the camera and the digital forum."
The deacons came from various parts of the country and belonged to the Servites, Claretians, and the Redemptorist religious congregations.
The support of SIGNIS was greatly acknowledged by CCBI Media Apostolate for enhancing the effectiveness of the training for individuals from different groups.