Thursday, 29 January 2015

Seva Kendra Calcutta Hosts Biblical World View Seminar

Seva Kendra Calcutta organised a seminar on "Biblical World View - How Values Effect our Actions"  on Friday 23 January 2015, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., at the organisation's Tangra Main Office.

Megacities missionary Mr. Richard Blake was the speaker. The seminar was mainly attended by the Seva Kendra staff, but a few others, including St. Xavier's Rector Father George Ponodath, were also present. 

Richard touched upon the idea of our faith applied to our daily lives, and how this simple thing could be transformative and powerful. Christian values like repentance and reconciliation were lost in this dog eat dog world and resulted in greed and emptiness - the way to the psychiatrist or worse in Western countries. But because you (as Christians) know this, says Richard, "You have something valuable to teach to Microsoft... to teach Swissbank... and Vodafone!" Corporations spend millions of dollars and struggle to retain promising employees in a world that people find it difficult to get along together - the number one reason for losing companies "Talent."

Other biblical qualities were also woven into daily life at home, relationships with spouse, children and others; with the scriptural passages to reinforce these values. The audience were kept alert by the speakers simple language and wit which drove the points home to them. 

Richard would be meeting a group IT professors, all non-Christian, later in the day. What would he be talking to these extremely intelligent people about? Why, "Jesus, of course," he says, "They want to be involved in this city and make it a better city - I will tell them, if you want to make it a better city, you need Jesus," he signs off.

Mr. Mukul Haldar felicitated the speaker on behalf of SKC and all participants were treated to a simple Bengali lunch, thereafter.

Richard Blake at Seva Kendra Calcutta

Monday, 26 January 2015


With the primary aim to create blueprints for Social Communications in every diocese, CBCI Office for Social Communications (OSC) organised a 4-day Workshop for Diocesan Directors of Social Communications at Nitika Don Bosco, 7-10 January 2015. Fr. George Plathottam, Secretary, CBCI-OSC, was the main speaker. Other resource persons were Fr. Antony Earathara, Fr Robin Gomes, Sunil Lucas and Farrell Shah.

Fr George said that Vatican II documents Inter Mirifica, Communio et Progressio and Aetatis Novae, give utmost importance to social communication in all forms. Media competence is imperative and dioceses should allocate budgets for communicators to acquire relevant digital-friendly skills. This must be built into seminary curriculum, as well. Professional PROs in dioceses and networking with mainstream media, friendly NGOs and personalities was necessary for the Church, and could manage and mitigate crisis.

 Fr. Antony Earathara explained various social media - Wikipedia, Facebook, Twitter, You Tube, etc; Spiritual Apps and real-time streaming of important church events.

Fr Robin spoke on the use of Radio. He said priests need training to improve homilies and keep them 7-10 minutes.

Sunil Lucas spoke on SIGNIS, the only recognised global Catholic media organisation; and the Church’s challenge to make communications interactive, and in-tune with the times. He stressed that non-engagement by priests and bishops in social communications would create a Communication Divide.

Farrell Shah said the Church’s Internet should “warm the hearts of men and women” not just provide dry summaries and data; engage people beyond websites with mobile apps, WebTV, etc, adopting newer uses as they become relevant. He also spoke on Internet security issues.

Each participant created a Draft Pastoral Plan for Social Communication for their diocese, to be shared and taken forward at the diocesan level.

Additionally, CBCI organised a “Workshop for Formators: Communication for Pastoral Leadership,” 13-16 January 2015.