In Pope Francis’ 48th World Communication Day Message he said, “The revolution taking place in communications media and in information technologies represents a great and thrilling challenge; may we respond to that challenge with fresh energy and imagination as we seek to share with others the beauty of God.”
As shown through the 435 entries received for the Light of Faith program, parish and school leaders in the Diocese of Orlando have responded to that challenge with great enthusiasm, sharing their gifts and their faith with the Catholic community and beyond.
During the Light of Faith Communications Program on May 1, Bishop John Noonan recognized parishes and schools with best practices in communication in the areas of: bulletins, newsletters, special publications, brochures and worship aids, video, social media, web and internet, campaigns, and visual media. Their efforts help extend the message of God’s love and mercy and allow people to rediscover the beauty at the heart of their existence.
In addition to the Best Practice awards, special recognition was also given to Teresa Peterson, Director of the diocesan Communications Office with the Witness to Hope Award; Fr. Eamon Tobin, pastor of Ascension Catholic Church, with the St. Francis de Sales Award for his extensive writing on the faith; and the Hope CommUnity Center with the St. Pope John Paul II award for their beautiful mosaic “Hope Rising”.
Attendees were inspired by informative talks given by experts in the field, including: “Communicating the Faith in the Digital World” by Scott Anez from WDBO, “Telling a Story through Images” by Joseph Burbank with the Orlando Sentinel, and “Evangelizing Our Digital Culture” by Sr. Caroline Cerveny.
The program ended with a prayer service and award distribution for students who participated in the Ace Reporter program, Vocations Poster Contest, Catholic Campaign for Human Development Multi-media Youth Arts Contest, and Vocations Essay Contest. Speaking to the students, Bishop Noonan remarked that just as the moon reflects the light of the sun, we must reflect the light of Christ.
“The light of Christ is love, peace, joy, happiness, goodwill, mercy – all the good things of life are the light of Christ. Today we celebrate those gifts, because you are reflecting those gifts to us.”