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Indonesia: East Nusa Tenggara Diocese to host National World Communication Day in May

The 57th World Communication Day's theme is "Speak from the heart: Veritatem facientes in caritate."

The diocese of Atambua in the country's East Nusa Tenggara province will host the National World Communication Day (NWCD) from May 17–21, 2023. There will be competitions, seminars, mentoring, digital and audio catechism training for activists in the Social Commission, and more.

Father Anthonius Steven Lalu, the Executive Secretary of the Social Communication Commission of the Indonesian Bishops' Conference, said that the celebration would take place in Kefamenanu City, which is in the Atambua diocese.

The priest said that to honor NWCD, the host diocese has planned the five-day celebration to organize various activities such as national seminars and other events.

“This year's NWCD would include digital catechism training and help for people who want to become catechists,” he said, adding that there would be “help for mothers on how to use social media, social literacy seminars with the Ministry of Communication and Information, and competitions for children.”

He said that in the weeks leading up to NWCD, there will be several online contests to keep people interested and show how Pope Francis' message for World Social Communications Day, "Speak from the heart: Veritatem facientes in caritate" (doing the truth in love), can be put into action.

"Training and competitions include a digital creative content competition, a songwriting competition for the pope's message, a story writing competition, a podcast news competition, an opinion writing competition in mass media, the Komsoslympic, and a short film competition," Father Lalu said in a press release statement. 

He added that "Speak from the Heart" is Pope Francis's central message for this year's 57th World Social Communication Day theme.

"After we practice listening, which requires us to wait, be patient, and not negatively force our point of view, we can finally enter the dynamics of dialogue and sharing, or more specifically, friendly communication," Father Lalu said, quoting Pope Francis.

In this message, the Pope also mentions Saint Francis de Sales, a Church writer or poet whose 400th birthday is being celebrated this year. The Bishop of Geneva, who passed away on December 28, 1622, was the patron saint of journalists and other communication professionals. He is also a protector of disabled individuals.

The writings of Francis de Sales have moved many people. One of these people was Saint John Henry Newman, who made Francis de Sales' phrase cor ad cor loquitur, which translates to the heart speaks to the heart, the basis of his motto, the statement reads, as Father Lalu explained the Pope’s World Communication Day Message. 

Quoting Pope Francis, Father Lalu said Francis de Sales is “the ideal illustration of communicating from the heart.”

Citing Pope Francis, "communication is a reflection of the soul, the visible surface of the invisible essence of love," said the priest, adding, "We are what we communicate; do not let what we reveal about ourselves be deceptive."

"Communication is frequently manipulated so that the world sees us as we wish, not as we truly are," Pope Francis emphasized, citing Francis de Sales. 

Kefamenanu is a city in East Nusa Tenggara that is part of the Diocese of Atambua. It is 5200 square kilometers large and includes the districts of Belu, South Central Timor, North Central Timor, and Malacca.

The Atambua Diocese is made up of 65 parishes spread across four regencies. It offers a wide range of pastoral ministries, such as education, health, economy, and social ministries. The diocese borders the Democratic State of Timor-Leste, which is approximately 2470 kilometers from the nation's capital, Jakarta.


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