The Catholic Bishops Conference of Nigeria (CBCN) has approved the annual celebration of Communications Week in Nigeria from next year, 2022. This was disclosed by Padre Mike Nsikak Umoh, Director of Social Communications, Catholic Secretariat of Nigeria (CSN), while speaking with the CSN, Directorate of Social Communications’ reportorial team on the outcome of the virtual meeting held recently by the CBCN. According to Umoh, the Prelates came out with a statement which was addressed to the government and people of Nigeria, titled, “We must pull back from the brink of collapse”. He said: “As they have often done in exercise of their prophetic role, the Bishops emphatically drew the attention of all well-meaning Nigerians and all actors in government, to the serious dangers of the time in our country; the hunger, pain and insecurity in the land, and called urgently for proper governance in order to rescue the country from total collapse. Speaking on resolutions reached at the meeting, he said: “Quite a number of resolutions were made, which include the Bishops’ approval that from next year, 2022, Communications Week should be celebrated in all parishes, starting from the sixth Sunday of Easter and ending on the seventh Sunday of Easter, which is the normal date for Communications Sunday.
” While disclosing that a social media app will be launched for the Catholic Church in Nigeria, Padre Umoh said concerted efforts should be directed towards training more priests and religious at the Center for Study of African Culture and Communications (CESACC) in CIWA, Port Harcourt in the area of Communications. On what informed the approval, Padre Umoh said: “Following the teachings of the Church on media and communications, the Bishops are very aware of the importance of the media in the present age and time, and are committed to doing everything possible to position the Church, to take full advantage of the benefits presented by these modern technology for the advancement of the mission of Christ. “The idea to start celebrating the Communications Week from next year is to be understood within the context of a wider vision to develop an integrated and efficient Communications Structure for the Catholic Church in Nigeria. This vision hinges on two goals; first, to create a mobile app in order to fully launch the Catholic Church in Nigeria on the digital space; and to develop a system that will facilitate a coordinated media education/training targeted at Catholics in Nigeria and particularly among all pastoral agents.
“Thus, the Bishops approved the celebration of the communications week in all parishes from next year, 2022 because they desire to foster a general awareness of the power of the media in our Church community and provide ample opportunity for media education at the grassroots.” On the plans of the Directorate of Social Communications for celebrating the Communications Week 2022, the priest said: “A committee of experts is being constituted as we speak. They are expected to deliberate and come up with a blue print on the modality for the programme. One would expect the framework of the annual celebration to expose the faithful to the numerous visionary teachings of the Church on media and communications, lead the faithful to explore the past Communications’ Day messages by the different Popes, lead the people to understand the dynamics of modern media, particularly how these impact on family life, and also provide opportunity for the people to improve upon their media skills and how to engage these for the task of evangelisation. We just pray for the best, that God crowns our humble efforts and make all go well for His glory.” Those in attendance at the meeting include Papal Nuncio, Archbishop Antonio Filipazzi, John Cardinal Onaiyekan, Archbishop Augustine Akubeze, President, CBCN, Bishop Lucius Ugorji, Vice President, CBCN, among several others.