Dominican Friars, Central Province
Director of Communications
In late January, Pope Francis published an open message for the 48th World Communications Day entitled, Communication at the Service of an Authentic Culture of Encounter. Throughout his message, the Holy Father stressed the importance of having “true encounters” in a world in which we often think we are connected to so many people.
So with Pope Francis calling us to be truly neighborly in our communications, we begin by asking ourselves as Catholics, as Christians, as Americans, and as human beings: “And who is my neighbor?” (Lk 10:29).
In this issue of DomCentralQuarterly, you will find stories that present true encounters and neighborliness in a spectrum. Joe Manzanares and Christopher Rezac are neighbors in Jesus Christ, who encourages us to take responsibility for one another with the story of the Good Samaritan. Father Michail Ford, O.P., brought one of Christ’s neighbors, St. Jude Thaddeus, to places his message of hope for the hopeless was needed. And finally, Byron Radcliffe shares his story of stewardship for the Catholic Church and the Dominican Order. Without neighbors like him, neither could thrive.
Pope Francis points to the opportunities available for Christian witness and establishing a sense of unity of the human family. “The internet, in particular, offers immense possibilities for encounter and solidarity. This is something truly good, a gift from God,” he says.
“To dialogue means to believe the ‘other’ has something worthwhile to say, and to entertain his or her point of view and perspective. Engaging in dialogue does not mean renouncing our own ideas and traditions, but the claim that they alone are valid or absolute.”
– From Pope Francis’ 48th World Communication Day message
Even with the advantage of such widespread reach, Pope Francis warns against barricading ourselves “behind sources of information, which only confirm (our) own wishes and ideas, or political and economic interests.” Further, he insists we must keep the doors of the Church open, particularly, “in the digital environment so that people, whatever their situation in life, can enter, and so that the Gospel can go out to reach everyone.”
Whether online, through social media sites like Facebook and Twitter, in traditional mass media reports, or in our personal conversation, Pope Francis reminds us to respect each other’s human dignity, particularly where we disagree. “To dialogue means to believe the ‘other’ has something worthwhile to say, and to entertain his or her point of view and perspective,” Pope Francis said. “Engaging in dialogue does not mean renouncing our own ideas and traditions, but the claim that they alone are valid or absolute.”
It’s our intention, guided by Pope Francis, to grow connections with people like you into true encounters. So please reach back to us, wherever you live. We’ve released two new blogs, “Follow the White Habit” and “The View From My Pew” to offer insight into the daily lives of Dominicans as well as the parishioners whose lives are impacted in the Central Province. Give us a call or send an email to make time for true encounters. Like or follow us on social media and join the conversation to share your individual perspective. Most importantly, keep us in your prayers as you are surely in ours.
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