Since 1967, the Vatican has released on this feast of St Francis de Sales – patron of writers and journalists – the theme of the upcoming papal message for World Communications Day.  This year’s theme Social Networks: Portals of Truth and Faith; New Spaces for Evangelization will explore our Pope’s thoughts on using digital communications in this “Year of Faith.”  World Communications Day is set for  May 12, 2013.

I love how Pope Benedict fully embraces the new media and digital communications–rather than bemoan all the negative crap that goes on online, he wants our focus to be on how we can use our communication skills for good.  We can share our faith, our hope and our experiences with others, always being willing to share the reason for our Hope, which is Jesus Christ!

In 2011, on this feast day, the Pope said, “New horizons are now open that were until recently unimaginable; they stir our wonder at the possibilities offered by these new media and, at the same time, urgently demand a serious reflection on the significance of communication in the digital age.

From B16 on this day in 2012: “Word and silence: learning to communicate is learning to listen and contemplate as well as speak. To Mary, whose silence “listens to the Word and causes it to blossom” (Private Prayer at the Holy House, Loreto, 1 September 2007), I entrust all the work of evangelization which the Church undertakes through the means of social communication.”

This year, in his message the Pope makes it clear that human effort and commitment is required so that the ‘exchange of information can become true communication, links ripen into friendships, and connections facilitate communion’ (Message, 2013). 

Authenticity is key.