The Catholic church in Uganda yesterday joined in celebration of 58th World Day of Social Communications, a function held at Sacred Heart of Jesus Ediofe Cathedral in Arua Diocese . The celebrated was under the theme “Artificial intelligence And Wisdom of Heart: Towards a Fully Human Communication.”

This day was instituted by Pope Paul VI in 1967, the years after the conclusion of the Vatican Council II, whose first discussion was about use of modern means of communication for effective evangelization. The purpose of instituting world day of communication was to reflect on the opportunities and challenges of communication in the modern times.

The 58th World Communications Day was hosted by Gulu Ecclesiastical Province, particularly in Arua Diocese which was a second time for Arua Diocese to host this celebration, the first one being in 2006. Gulu Ecclesiastical Province is composed of the Dioceses of Arua, Nebbi, Lira and Gulu Archdiocese.

Bishop Sabino Ocan Odoki (centre) with Bishop Joseph Franzelli blessing people on world Communications Day in Arua Diocese on Sunday.

Preaching during Mass, Rt. Rev. Sabino Ocan Odoki, Bishop of Arua Diocese said that every year, on a Sunday before Pentecost, the Catholic Church celebrated the role played by Communications sector in evangelization. He said Mass Media has grown and expanded to cover diverse areas in both print and electronic form and above all, there is artificial intelligence which has made tremendous changes in the digital era. However, with it comes the danger and challenge of overtaking human wisdom this encouraging laziness by killing creativity since man relies on machine.

The more we communicate properly and appropriately, the more we show maturity and technological advancement must be put to good use – Bishop Sabino Ocan Odoki.

He said that the Catholic Church cannot live in isolation, but lives in the modern world and must use the modern means of communication for effective evangelization. He also applauded the role played by the media in evangelization. However, he appealed to journalists to always attract people with good news, not only bad news which to them makes news. Since 1967, the office of the Holy Father has been issuing guidelines on the better use of communication and this year marks 58 years since Pope Paul VI started it in 1967.

Some of the Communicators from Mbarara Ecclesiastical Province

Rev. Fr. Philip Odii, the Executive Secretary of Social Communications for Uganda Episcopal Conference said that in Uganda, the world Communications Day is celebrated in anticipation, a week before the actual day of Celebration where communication Coordinators/directors and directors of Catholic media houses gather together to share their successes and challenges faces in the field of communication. During their gathering, they dedicate two days for a seminar and this year, they reflected on “Project Planning and Management.”

Bishop Franzelli hands over a certificate of attendance to Mr. Salvino Mubangizi, Communications director for Kabale Diocese

Rt. Rev. Joseph Franzelli Bishop Emeritus of Lira Diocese and Bishop Chairman of Social Communications Commission of Uganda Episcopal Conference thanked Arua Diocese for hosting the communications week. He also thanked God for the existence of many communication channels for example radios, television, bulletins, magazines among others. He also thanked the faithful for their support towards the establishment of Uganda Catholic Television (UCTV) and appealed for more support in form of prayers and money.

Sr. Sarah Muhindo, Communications Coordinator for Kasese Diocese receives a drum from Bishop Joseph Franzelli as a sign to mark the handover from Gulu Ecclesiastical Province to Mbarara Ecclesiastical Province.

Bishop Franzelli also officiated the handover ceremony of the the traditional communication tool (drum) to the hosts of the 59th World Day of Communications from Gulu Ecclesiastical Province. Mbarara Ecclesiastical Province was chosen and Kasese diocese will host the celebrations in 2025. Bishop Franzelli also issues certificates of attendance to all the participants in the communications week from the 19 Dioceses of Uganda.

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