My dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ, May the peace and love of Jesus Christ be
with you always! Today, Sunday, May 17, the Catholic Church celebrates the 49th World Communications Day.
One can say it is very much a family celebration because in advance of next October’s Synod on the Family, Pope Francis has beautifully and appropriately chosen to highlight the vital role the family has in communication in his annual World Communications Day Message.
With the theme, “Communicating the Family: A Privileged Place of Encounter with the Gift of Love”, Pope Francis reminds us that it is in our families that each of us first learned to interact and communicate.
“Even after we have come into the world, in some sense we are still in a ‘womb’, which is the family,” the pope says in his message.
Calling family “a womb made up of various interrelated persons,” the Holy Father points
out that the family is “where we learn to live with others despite our differences” (Evangelii Gaudium, 66). Notwithstanding the differences of gender and age between them, family members accept one another because there is a bond between them. The wider the range of these relationships and the greater the differences of age, the richer will be our living environment.”
Pope Francis’ wisdom – ever grounded in the Holy Spirit – continues to inspire the Faithful while stirring even the attention of the faithless as well as the fallen away.
As the family of God, the children of our beloved Creator, all of us are called to understand, appreciate and nurture the abundant graces that Our Loving Father has given to us in this world. The gift of communication and the gift of the family are two of those immense blessings.
We must protect both!
In this year’s message, one sees how the pope is sharing a moment of catechesis. In the
midst of the secular world’s misguided chase to redefine marriage in the name of love and
“equality for all”, Pope Francis reminds us of a fundamental truth: that God our Creator
created man and woman to share in his gift of pro-creation.
“In the family we realize that others have preceded us, they made it possible for us to
exist and in our turn to generate life and to do something good and beautiful,” the pope
says. “We can give because we have received. This virtuous circle is at the heart of the family’s ability to communicate among its members and with others. More generally, it is the model for all communication.”
Pope Francis also tells us that the family is “the setting in which the most basic form
of communication, which is prayer, is handed down.”
Prayer is at the heart of who we are. And prayer – which is dialogue, really – will help
us during all our storms, hardships, trials and recovery. I ask all Faithful of our Church on
Guam to remain strong in prayer. You have my prayers and I humbly ask for yours, as well.
Despite any conflicts, controversies, difficulties, or divisions which befall us as a
Church, an island or within our own smaller families, I pray that we remain steadfast in
our trust in God.
As we celebrate World Communication Day today and Catholic Communication
Month May 17 to June 21, I take this opportunity thank all the men, women, boys and
girls who, in one way or the other, contribute to the Church in the area of communication.
Perhaps it is faithfully managing and updating your parish or school websites. Maybe it is
as a volunteer who composes your parish bulletins or takes photographs for your schools,
parishes or organizations. Most assuredly, gratitude must be extended to the many individuals who contribute stories and photographs to our Catholic newspaper, the Umatuna Si Yu’os, or who help our Catholic radio station, KOLG 90.9 FM and Catholics on the Move television.
I thank the professionals and employees who devote themselves to spreading the
good news of the Gospel through our Catholic newspaper, radio and TV apostolates. Sincere gratitude goes to the hardworking professionals of our commercial publishing, electronic and digital media agencies, as well. May Our Lord bless you and aid you in your work.
Finally, I ask everyone’s support once again of our annual Catholic Communication
Month collections. I have designated the second collection at all Sunday Masses from
May 31 through June 14 (three Sundays) to go toward helping our Office of Communication in its work with Catholic radio, television, the Internet and most especially the Umatuna Si Yu’os.
Already starting in April, the Office of Communication and Umatuna have conducted
workshops on a wide variety of Catholic communication topics, which will continue
through June. They are free of charge and open to everyone!
In the spirit of recognizing there is much to learn, much to share and much to improve upon, the archdiocese embraces World Communications Day and Catholic Communication Month.
May the Lord bless each of us as we strive to communicate only peace, love and mercy
to one another. In all we say and do, let God be our guide and role model.
The joy and love of Christ be with you!
/s/Archbishop Anthony Sablan Apuron, OFM Cap., D.D. Metropolitan Archbishop of Agana May 17, 2015