Fruitful encounter at Regional Social Communications meeting
KUALA LUMPUR — The three-day annual meeting of the Regional Commission for Social Communications (RCSC) of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Malaysia, Singapore and Brunei ended with participants feeling they have had a fruitful encounter that would bear good fruit in time to come.
The meeting, held at the Archdiocesan Pastoral Centre of the Archdiocese of Kuala Lumpur from 20-23 June, was attended by a group of 11 representatives from the Archdioceses of Kuala Lumpur, Kota Kinabalu and Kuching and the Dioceses of Brunei, Penang, Malacca-Johor, Miri and Sandakan.
The theme for the meeting ‘Media, a Fruitful Encounter and its Influence in the Family’, which is also the theme for Pope Francis’ message for World Communications Day this year, became the focal point that guided the conference proceedings.
Bishop Cornelius Sim from the Diocese of Brunei, the President of the Regional Episcopal Commission for Social Communications (SOCCOM) of the Conference, was in attendance throughout the meeting. Among other priests and religious present were Fr Robert Leong (Brunei), Fr Thomas Madanan (Kota Kinabalu), Fr Clarence Devadas (Kuala Lumpur) and Sr Rosalie Lojiu, from the Daughters of St Paul (FSP), the chairperson of RCSC and chief organiser of the meeting.
Archbishop Julian Leow who presided over the opening Mass on 20 June, urged the SOCCOM delegates to ensure that their actions to build the family and society would radiate the tenderness of God. He also expressed the hope that the media that they use would influence Catholic families to reflect the meekness and mercy of Jesus Christ.
Representatives from various dioceses in the region presented progress reports on the implementation of plans, programmes and activities in their respective diocese of the past year. It was from these reports that they saw the need for the sharing of resources.
Due to the unexpected reassignment of Sr Rosalie FSP, from Kuala Lumpur to Manila by end of July, Fr Thomas Madanan, the Spiritual Advisor of the Archdiocese of Kota Kinabalu SOCCOM was elected as an interim chairman for the 2016-2017 term of office. The vacant post of deputy chairman was filled by Clement Josos from the Malacca-Johor Diocese SOCCOM while Frank Saing remains as Secretary of RCSC.
When asked to comment on the outcome of the three-day RCSC meeting, Bishop Cornelius Sim said the message from Pope Francis for this year’s World Communications Day (WCD) provided very relevant material for the Commission’s sharing and planning this year. He said the Pope’s focus on the family was providential, as social communications have a major influence on this critical area of our society at this moment in history. He expressed the hope that the RCSC encounter and joint efforts at its annual meeting in KL would bear good fruit in time to come.
Delegates who attended the RCSC meeting were: Dalius Lucius Lobinjang (Sandakan), Joseph Leong (Kota Kinabalu), Audrey Yu (Kuching), Frank Saing (Miri), Catherine Tan (Penang), Vincent Joseph (Penang) and Clement Josos (Malacca-Johor).
Also present at this year’s RCSC meeting were two representatives of SIGNIS Malaysia, Majella Gomes and Adeline James.
The next RCSC meeting in 2017 will be hosted by SOCCOM of the Archdiocese of Kuching. The last time Kuching hosted such a meeting was in 2008.
The 2014 and 2015 annual RCSC meeting were held in Kota Kinabalu and Penang respectively.
Today’s Catholic Vol.28 No.4 July 2016