On Sunday 17 May parishes across Australia will celebrate World Communications Day, an annual celebration promoted by the Holy See.
This year, the theme is Communicating the Family: A privileged place of encounter with the gift of love, and a letter from the Holy Father Pope Francis focuses on communication within families and the work of the extraordinary Synod.
The Australian Catholic Bishops Conference communications office has developed four new resources for use in parishes, including a new book about social media and its use.
Tweet others as you would wish to be tweeted: a Scripture-based guide to social media for the Church is written by Catholic journalist Beth Doherty.
It takes the command from Luke’s Gospel 6:31 to ‘do unto others as you would have them do unto you’. Throughout the 80 pages, the book describes the most commonly used social media platforms and provides advice about how they can be used in the promotion of Gospel values.
Included on a new website developed for World Communications Day are downloadable prayer cards that can also be used as bookmarks featuring the reworked seven deadly sins and heavenly virtues applied to social media. These can be ordered as packs of 10 from the website www.worldcommunicationsday.org.au.
There is also a Parish Kit that can be downloaded and printed out for parishes, that includes suggested homily ideas and prayers of the faithful.
An updated social networking policy for the Church in Australia is available, to assist agencies and parishes in their engagement on social media.
All of these resources are available at www.worldcommunicationsday.org.au and can be used throughout the year in schools, parishes and agencies.