Restoring hope and trust in the world, the Church and the media will be the focus of a gathering of Australian Catholic communicators in Brisbane in September.
The Australian Catholic Communications Congress, an initiative of the Australian Catholic Media Council, will draw delegates from across the Church – communications professionals, journalists, priests and parish pastoral workers, but also members of the lay faithful.Debra Vermeer, chair of the Media Council, said the Congress is “a great opportunity for people from all parts of the Church to come together and consider how we can communicate the message of Christ more effectively in today’s society”.
The theme of the 2018 Congress is “Communicating Hope and Trust”, inspired by Pope Francis’ message for World Communications Day 2017.
“The Church in Australia finds itself at a time in history when it has never been more important to communicate hope and trust in an authentic, Gospel-driven way,” said Mrs Vermeer.
“This Congress is not just for media and communications professionals, but for all who are engaged in communicating the Gospel in any way, whether that be in parishes, schools, Church organisations or agencies.
“We invite all people with a passion for communicating the Gospel to come and be part of this national gathering, where together we can open ourselves to new, Spirit-led ideas for communicating the message of Jesus Christ, sharing our faith and telling our stories in fresh ways that can touch people’s hearts and lives.”
Delegates will learn practical media skills, establish new networks and be inspired in their work as part of the Church’s critical mission to speak Gospel truths into the world.
Greg Erlandson, a former Vatican journalist and current editor-in-chief of the US-based Catholic News Service, will deliver a keynote address. Other presenters include author, commentator and former ABC journalist Madonna King, Brisbane Archbishop Mark Coleridge and Plenary Council 2020 facilitator Lana Turvey-Collins.
Indigenous educator Theresa Ardler will speak on “The Power of Story”, reflecting on links between Aboriginal culture and her Catholic faith and how stories are central to both.
Former test cricketer Matthew Hayden will address delegate at the Congress dinner.
The Congress will take place at Rydges South Bank Brisbane from September 5-7. Find out more at: www.catholic.org.au/accc