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A day-long seminar on ‘Church and Media’ was organized jointly by Deepa Trust, Uzvaad Fortnightly and Commission for Social Communications in association with SIGNIS India-the catholic Association for Communications, at the Diocesan Pastoral Centre ‘Anugraha’ Kakkunje, Santhekatte on Sunday, 28 May 2023.

Rev. Fr Denis D’Sa, PRO of the Udupi Diocese in his introductory remarks explained the reason behind organizing the seminar on Church and Media. He said that the Second Vatican Council was like the second Pentecost and the importance of media was recognized by the church. However, the church has not been able to capitalize on the media. It is important to utilize the media for Evangelization so also it is important to evangelize the media. Media has percolated in every sphere of human life. Though the church had been reluctant to use media, in modern times, it has realized that without the effective use of media, the future of the church may not be bright.  The media should be used for upholding truth, trust and tolerance. 

The seminar was formally inaugurated by Rt. Rev. Msgr. Ferdinand Gonsalves, Chairman of the Deepa Trust and Vicar General of the Udupi Diocese along with other dignitaries on the dais, Rev. Fr Roshan D’Souza, Chancellor of the Udupi Diocese; Rev. Fr Denis D’Sa; Rev. Fr Royson Fernandes, Editor of Uzvaad; Rev. Fr Sudeep Paul and Dr Ronald Anil Fernandes, Resource persons and two participants by fixing the icons of the social media on the stem of the banana plant. 

Rev. Fr Roshan D’Souza, the chief guest of the inaugural function in his address said that this is the age of media and no one can stay away from it. Though the church conducts many useful programmes, their mention is hardly found in media. Rev. Fr Roshan wished well for the seminar on Church and Media. 

In his presidential message, Msgr. Ferdinand Gonsalves said, “We had given less importance to media and media persons. However, in modern times the church has found its importance. Media helps in communicating the service of the church to the society in many ways”. Msgr. Ferdinand Gonsalves lauded the efforts of Rev. Fr Royson Fernandes, the Editor and Rev. Fr Alwyn Sequeira OCD, the Editor Designate of ‘Uzvaad’ for organizing the seminar. 

Rev. Fr Royson Fernandes proposed the vote of thanks to the dignitaries who participated in the inaugural function of the seminar and Rev. Fr Alwyn Sequeira compered the programme. 

The seminar was conducted by four Resource Persons Rev. Fr Sudeep Paul, Director of Sandesha Foundation, Mangalore on the theme of “Church and Media-Present Scenario”. Dr. Ronald Anil Fernandes, Member of Karnataka Public Service Commission (KPSC) on the topic of “Church and Print Media”. Mr Walter Nandalike, Director of Daijiworld Media Network on “Church and Web/Social Media” and Clifford Pereira, Director of TV9 Group of Channels on “Church and Visual/ Digital Media”. 

The valedictory programme was held at 3.30 pm presided over by Most Rev. Dr Gerald Isaac Lobo, Bishop of Udupi Duiocese. Other dignitaries on the dais included V. Rev. Fr Valerian Mendonca, Trustee of Deepa Trust, Rev. Fr. Victor Vijay Lobo, President of Signis India, Rev. Fr Denis D’Sa, Rev. Fr Royson Fernandes and three resource persons Dr. Ronald Anil Fernandes, Walter Nandalike and Clifford Pereira.

Two participants in the seminar Mr Michael D’Souza and Mrs Cifha Saldanha gave the feedback of the seminar. 

V. Rev. Fr Valerian Mendonca in his address said that the media has a great responsibility of upholding the truth. When people are fed with multidimensional truth, it is important that media should reveal the real truth. He further said that the church has to make use of the media and make itself relevant to the people. 

Bishop Gerald Isaac Lobo felicitated Rev. Fr Alwyn Sequeira, the Editor designate of “Uzvaad” and wished Rev. Fr Royson Fernandes who will be proceeding to Rome for higher studies in media for three years. 

Rev. Fr Victor Vijay Lobo distributed certificates of participation to all those who attended the seminar. 

In his address, Fr Victor Vijay Lobo explained the background of Signis India and its role in promoting the interest of the church. SIGNIS World was created in November, 2001 in Rome for the merger of two International Catholic Organizations. They are Unda, meaning ‘wave’ in Latin, for Radio and Television, and OCIC, an acronym for ‘Organization Catholique International du Cinema et de l’ Audiovisual, meaning ‘International Catholic Organization for Cinema and Audiovisual’.

Both these Organizations were created in 1928 in Cologne, Germany and at The Hague, Netherlands respectively.

The word ‘SIGNIS’ is derived from two Latin words, ‘Signum’ (meaning Sign) and ‘Ignis’ (meaning Fire)

SIGNIS combines the heritages of both Unda and OCIC, and at the same time, moves forward as a creative and dynamic Catholic International Media Organization.

The Constitution of SIGNIS INDIA was first approved and promulgated for a probation period of four years by the delegates during the first SIGNIS INDIA General Assembly held at Don Bosco Provincial House, Okhla, New Delhi, during 24-25, February, 2002.

At the end of the stipulated four years, the Constitution was ratified and adopted on 21 September 2006 at the extraordinary National General Assembly of SIGNIS INDIA, held at St. Anne’s Generalate, Hyderabad.

The book containing the collection of 16 stories written by Fr. Royson Fernandes and Published by "Uzwaad Prakashan" titled "Poili Bhet" (First Meeting) was released by Bishop Gerald Isaac Lobo.

In his presidential message, Bishop Gerald Isaac Lobo said that since the establishment of the Diocese of Udupi, he has been maintaining good relation with the media persons of Udupi arranging Christmas get-together every year. So afar the media has been doing its bit in promoting the interest of the diocese. He greatly appreciated the service rendered by Dr. Ronald Anil Fernandes, Mr Walter Nandalike and Clifford Pereira for their media support since the inception of the diocese.

Rev. Fr Royson Fernandes proposed the vote of thanks and Ms Joshita Menezes compered the programme.

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