Diocesan/Religious Communication Directors Hold First Plenary

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The National Association of Diocesan and Religious Directors of Social Communications of the Catholic Church in Nigeria recently held her first plenary for the year between the 5th- 7th of March, 2018. This first plenary which was hosted by the Catholic Archdiocese of Onitsha on behalf of the Onitsha Ecclesiastical Province, took place at Eziafakaego Garden Resort Ltd, Klm 2, Nnobi-Alor Road, Nnokwa, Anambra State. The theme of the plenary, adapted from the Holy Father's message for this year's World Communication day is: "The Truth will set you free" (John 8:32) "fake news and journalism for peace".

In his homily at the opening mass of the plenary held at St Mary's Parish Nnokwa, the Archbishop of Onitsha and the Metropolitan of Onitsha Ecclesiastical Province, Most Rev. Valerian M. Okeke, stated that communication as an art is at the centre of our Christian life and faith since God himself initiated it at the beginning with the communication of himself to humanity in a very significant way through his Son. He urged the directors who had gathered to be ambassadors of the truth and charged them to use their good offices to fight the increasing spate of fake news that has been ravaging the present day society.

In his own remark during the event the Auxiliary bishop of Onitsha and the Episcopal Chairman of Social Communications at the Catholic Bishops' Conference of Nigeria, His Excellency, Most Rev Dennis Isizor stated that the advancement in modern means of communication now facilitates the work of evangelization and that agents of the gospel can only do well to make use of those means to actuate the mandate of Christ, to take the message of the gospel to the ends of the earth. This according to him, would be in keeping with the injunction of the saintly pontiff, St John Paul II who stated that the new evangelization is to be essentially "new in zeal, new in method and new in its expression."

In his vote of thanks during the occasion, the president of the Association and the Director of Communications, Catholic Archdiocese of Onitsha, Rev Fr Pius Uche Ukor expressed gratitude to the host Archbishop, Most Rev. Valerian Okeke for is fatherly care and wonderful display of fraternal solidarity extended to the association at this first plenary. He equally thanked the episcopal chairman, Bishop Isizor, who he commended for settling for work immediately after his appointment to that position during the last plenary meeting of the CBCN.

The group equally took some time out to pay a courtesy call on the Executive Governor of Anambra State, Chief Willie Obiano, at his lodge at Awka. The governor who could not hide his excitement at the visit, siezed the opportunity to intimate the group on some of the giant strides his administration has been making in all sectors especially in the areas of education and the security of life and property. He profusely thanked the group for coming and solicited for prayers for his administration which is about to step into the second tenure, having secured a land mark victory during the last gubernatorial elections in the state.

The occasion featured presentations of speeches as well as reports from the nine ecclesiastical provinces of the country with regard to the progress they have been making in the area of social communication. Below are some of the pictorial highlights during the occasion.


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