By Ivy Chai
MANILA — In a press release, the Veritas Asia Institute of Social Communication (VAISCOM) announced the launch of three online courses.
VAISCOM is established by the FABC Office of Social Communication (OSC) for the formation of pastoral personnel in Asia. On 6 January, Chairman of FABC OSC, Bishop Roberto Mallari, launched the website (www.vaiscom.org) and the online courses via zoom conference.
He said, “Our God is a communicating God, and communication is central to the mission of the Church.” The new institute and the online program, he said, would instill dynamism among pastoral leaders in Asia and help them acquire knowledge and skills needed for effective ministry.
Executive Secretary of the FABC OSC, Fr George Plathottam SDB, said VAISCOM is committed to form people for various communication ministries of the church in Asia by means of online, in-campus and in loco programs.
It will offer training support, support research and follow up programs. The online courses, though planned long before the outbreak of COVID-19, are timely and offer a common platform of learning, he said.
The three courses offered are – Basic, Advanced and Diploma levels and students would have access to video lessons, study notes and other resource materials.
The program is in response to the need to equip church leaders to meet the challenges presented by the new media and diverse pastoral contexts in Asia.
Fr William LaRousse, FABC Assistant Secretary General, in quoting Pope Paul VI had said that the mission of the church in Asia is for all peoples. He called the new program timely and hugely beneficial to the Church in Asia at a time when FABC is celebrating its golden jubilee, as communication presents us new opportunities.
Fr Victor F Sadaya, General Manager, RVA, Fr John Mishen, Director designate of VAISCOM, and Fr Bernard Dashi Tang, Program Director, RVA, who spoke during the opening function, hailed the establishment of the institute and the launching of the program.
The course titled “Communication for Pastoral Leadership” (CPL) is set to begin in July 2021. VAISCOM has started admissions to the program. The course is specially designed for priests, seminarians, religious and lay leaders who want to be in tune with the times and in sync with the Church.
The program has lots of flexibility and is offered to individuals as well as institutions at an affordable fee. Applicants can register for one course or for all the three and complete the program at their own pace.
Courses are prepared by a team of Salesians under the leadership of Fr Plathottam with technical support from Delhi-based Manna Media Hub and Manila-based Asia Pacific Consortium of Educational Research and Radio Veritas Asia (RVA).