This past week the editors of the European publications of the Mill Hill Missionaries – St Joseph’s Advocate Ireland and Scotland, St Josefs Missionsbote, Contactblad – met with General Councillor, Fr Jimmy Lindero, at Maidenhead to critically evaluate, share material and plan future initiatives in the field of print and online media.
Most of our publications have a long history. Mission is at the heart of them all. The support generated over the years is truly amazing.
Thank you everyone who shows an interest and supports the missionary outreach of the Mill Hill Missionaries in whatever way suits best!
The face of mission is changing fast in this modern era and ways of promoting mission need to be rethought.
At present all our publications experience a steady decline in the number of subscribers due largely to an ageing readership and the change in interests and reading habits of younger generations.
Mission has entered a new era with exciting opportunities and huge challenges. Pope Francis shows the way in his inspiring push to transform the Church into a joyfully attractive community of believers. ‘The Joy of the Gospel’ transmitted through contageous attraction.
Ms Michelle Slater of Missio UK joined our meeting on its final day to provide some valuable input on current advances in the field of print and social media as well as missionary animation.
Looking at the future we observed that the emergence of fledgling Mill Hill Missionary publications in the global south is both encourageing and in need of further determined support.
Fons Eppink mhm
The following extract from Pope Francis’ recent message for the World Communications Day was read out at the start of the meeting. It provided welcome food for thought and inspiration:
Peace is the true news
The best antidotes to falsehoods are not strategies, but people: people who are not greedy but ready to listen, people who make the effort to engage in sincere dialogue so that the truth can emerge; people who are attracted by goodness and take responsibility for how they use language. If responsibility is the answer to the spread of fake news, then a weighty responsibility rests on the shoulders of those whose job is to provide information, namely, journalists, the protectors of news. In today’s world, theirs is, in every sense, not just a job; it is a mission. Amid feeding frenzies and the mad rush for a scoop, they must remember that the heart of information is not the speed with which it is reported or its audience impact, but persons. Informing others means forming others; it means being in touch with people’s lives. That is why ensuring the accuracy of sources and protecting communication are real means of promoting goodness, generating trust, and opening the way to communion and peace.
I would like, then, to invite everyone to promote a journalism of peace. By that, I do not mean the saccharine kind of journalism that refuses to acknowledge the existence of serious problems or smacks of sentimentalism. On the contrary, I mean a journalism that is truthful and opposed to falsehoods, rhetorical slogans, and sensational headlines. A journalism created by people for people, one that is at the service of all, especially those – and they are the majority in our world – who have no voice. A journalism less concentrated on breaking news than on exploring the underlying causes of conflicts, in order to promote deeper understanding and contribute to their resolution by setting in place virtuous processes. A journalism committed to pointing out alternatives to the escalation of shouting matches and verbal violence.
To this end, drawing inspiration from a Franciscan prayer, we might turn to the Truth in person:
Lord, make us instruments of your peace.
Help us to recognize the evil latent in a communication that does not build communion.
Help us to remove the venom from our judgements.
Help us to speak about others as our brothers and sisters.
You are faithful and trustworthy; may our words be seeds of goodness for the world:
where there is shouting, let us practise listening;
where there is confusion, let us inspire harmony;
where there is ambiguity, let us bring clarity;
where there is exclusion, let us offer solidarity;
where there is sensationalism, let us use sobriety;
where there is superficiality, let us raise real questions;
where there is prejudice, let us awaken trust;
where there is hostility, let us bring respect;
where there is falsehood, let us bring truth.
(Pope Francis: Message for World Communications Day 2018)