We invite all Catholics involved in a media-related profession to join us in praise and gratitude for the wonderful gifts God has given humanity to communicate; to celebrate you and the work that you do.
The 50th World Communications Day Mass
Sunday, April 24, 2016 at 2 P.M.
Main Celebrant: Rev. Robert Reed
President/CEO iCatholic Media, Inc., and
Secretary for Catholic Media of the Archdiocese of Boston
at the Daughters of St. Paul Convent Chapel
50 Saint Paul’s Avenue
Jamaica Plain, MA 02130
RSVP appreciated. WCDMass@Paulinemedia.com. For more information.
Mass will be followed by refreshments and a panel discussion of "What is mercy and how do we communicate it?"
The convent is handicap accessible. Our lift to the chapel, however, does have a 500 lb. weight limit. Please email with any questions.
If you work in a media-related profession, in the secular world or for a Catholic organization, you are a media professional. If you are a Catholic artist, writer, blogger, musician, radio host, etc., (not necessarily full-time, but it is a part of your life), then you are a media professional. If you are involved in a media-related field in any way, please come!
St. Paul used the media of his day—letter writing—to pass on his reflections about living Christ to the communities he founded. Today, the Catholic Church continues to use all forms of communications technology to carry on the mission entrusted to the apostles by Jesus: “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything that I have commanded you” (Mt 28:19–20).
Technologies have changed drastically over the course of two millennia, but the Church’s message has not. What does change is the language and form the message takes, adapted so that each generation may hear of God’s love in Christ in a language it can understand.
The Second Vatican Council, with its focus on bringing the Church up to date with the modern world, devoted a whole document to communications media, Inter Mirifica (Decree on the Media of Social Communication). This document initiated the only worldwide annual celebration commissioned by the Council: World Communications Day.
Moreover, that the varied apostolates of the Church with respect to the media of social communication may be strengthened effectively, each year in every diocese of the world, by the determination of the Bishops, there should be celebrated a day on which the faithful are instructed in their responsibilities in this regard. They should be invited to pray and contribute funds for this cause. Such funds are to be expended exclusively on the promotion, maintenance, and development of institutes and undertakings of the Church in this area, according to the needs of the whole Catholic world (18).
In keeping with the Council’s wishes, World Communications Day (WCD) has been celebrated throughout the Catholic world since 1967 on the Sunday before Pentecost. Each year on the feast of St. Francis de Sales (January 24), patron saint of journalists, the Holy Father issues a message dealing with some aspect of communications in accord with a chosen theme. Even while dealing with a variety of themes, the Popes have been consistent in the teaching that the communications media are gifts, given to us by God, with great potential for evangelization and, at the same time, encouraging media users to practice discernment in making media choices consistent with their values.
Blessed Pope Paul VI, in the very first WCD message, says that because the media can present messages both helpful and harmful, critical engagement with media is important:
Most helpful and laudable is, therefore, every serious initiative that aims at forming the critical judgment of the reader and spectator, and at inducing him to evaluate the news, the ideas, and the images that are presented to him, not only under the aesthetical and technical aspects, but also from the human, moral, and religious point of view, bearing in mind the highest values of life.
The Holy Year of Mercy invites all of us to reflect on the relationship between communication and mercy. The Church, in union with Christ, the living incarnation of the Father of Mercies, is called to practise mercy as the distinctive trait of all that she is and does. What we say and how we say it, our every word and gesture, ought to express God’s compassion, tenderness and forgiveness for all. Love, by its nature, is communication; it leads to openness and sharing. If our hearts and actions are inspired by charity, by divine love, then our communication will be touched by God’s own power.
Communication has the power to build bridges, to enable encounter and inclusion, and thus to enrich society. How beautiful it is when people select their words and actions with care, in the effort to avoid misunderstandings, to heal wounded memories and to build peace and harmony. Words can build bridges between individuals and within families, social groups and peoples. This is possible both in the material world and the digital world. Our words and actions should be such as to help us all escape the vicious circles of condemnation and vengeance which continue to ensnare individuals and nations, encouraging expressions of hatred. The words of Christians ought to be a constant encouragement to communion and, even in those cases where they must firmly condemn evil, they should never try to rupture relationships and communication.... Read the full message here.
Lawyers have the Red Mass, police officers have the Blue Mass, and health care workers have the White Mass. But it seems like media professionals have thus far not been the beneficiaries of an annual Mass so that the Catholic community can celebrate with them and offer prayers to God for them and the work they do.
This year, the Daughters of St. Paul address this situation by hosting their celebration of the first annual World Communications Day Mass for media professionals at their motherhouse in Boston, MA.
Instituted by Vatican II’s document on the media, Inter Mirifica (1963), World Communications Day (WCD) is an annual opportunity for the Church to reflect on media and communications technology and its significant influence on human society and culture. WCD also reminds people of faith to pray for those who work in information and entertainment media.
The mission to evangelize using all the forms of communications media was entrusted to the Daughters of St. Paul by their founder, Blessed James Alberione, 100 years ago. As a community of religious women whose spirituality is based on the word of Scripture and the Eucharist, they open their convent chapel to media professionals for the WCD Mass.
Sr. Anne Flannagan, part of the team overseeing digital media projects for the Sisters, says, “World Communications Day has long been a favorite of the Daughters of St Paul, but until now we have kept our observance within the community. In this, our centenary year, it seems fitting to launch a new stage of our journey with other Catholic media professionals in recognizing the ‘gifts of God’ that the media are, and which characterize our common vocation.”
About the choice to begin an annual Mass for media professionals, Flannagan adds, “The Church defines ‘communication’ as ‘the giving of self in love,’ which is just what the Mass is all about. Not only does the Mass make present for us the complete and perfect gift of self that Jesus made for us, we respond in kind. From the Eucharist, that mutual gift carries forward not only into our family life, but into our professional life as communicators.”
For the address and directions to the Daughters of St. Paul, click here.
Father Robert Reed has long entertained a keen interest in the full use of television and new media for an engaging and truthful sharing of Catholic faith and life. A priest of the Archdiocese of Boston and President of The CatholicTV Network, Father Reed was born in Boston and currently lives in Newton, MA. He was educated at Saint John’s Preparatory School, and he prepared for the priesthood at the Pontifical North American College in Rome. Father Reed also holds an advanced degree in Television Management from Boston University's College of Communication.
Ordained a Catholic priest in 1985, Father Reed served in parishes in Malden, Norwood, Dorchester, Haverhill, and most recently as pastor of Holy Ghost Parish in Whitman, MA. He was appointed to direct CatholicTV in May 2005 and has collaborated in the rebranding and expansion of the network along with the build-out of a new HD broadcast and production facility. Reed oversees the creation, acquisition and delivery of increasingly diverse and high-quality Catholic programming from around the nation and the world. The CatholicTV Network is available in over 13 million homes and boasts of a robust television Web site with a 24-hour live stream and more than 3,000 television episodes available for viewing on-demand and embedding: CatholicTV.com.
In addition to his administrative responsibilities at America’s Catholic Television Network®, Father Reed is host of the game show WOW: The CatholicTV Challenge, the reality series House+Home, he prays the Rosary with the television audience three times daily from various locations around the world, co-hosts the network's signature talk show, This Is the Day, and regularly celebrates the daily television Mass. Father Reed provides commentary for various national and international televised events.
Father Reed currently serves as President/CEO of iCatholic Media, Inc., the parent company of The CatholicTV Network. He is Director of the Radio Apostolate for the Archdiocese of Boston and regularly assists at Corpus Christi-St. Bernard Parish in Newton and St. Bonaventure Parish in Plymouth, MA.
Jaymie Stuart Wolfe is a wife and mother of eight children, and a disciple of the spirituality of St. Francis de Sales. She is an inspirational author, speaker, musician and serves as a Children's Editor at Pauline Books and Media.
Christopher Kelley had a successful theater career in New York City but was drawn to begin serving the Church. Christopher has worked as the Station Manager of WQOM 1060 AM in Boston, MA. He has also worked with Catholic Voices as a Media and PR trainer and is currently serving the Oblates of the Virgin Mary as their Chief Communications and Marketing Officer.
George Martell is the photographer for the Archdiocese of Boston. George uses his camera and new media to document the faith of the nearly 2 million Catholics in the Boston area. He formerly worked for almost twenty years as a photographer for the Boston Herald. His work has appeared in publications all over the world.
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