Communication today is “a major apostolic dimension of all of our apostolates… making us realize that the new communication environment is a milieu in which large numbers of people can be reached and enriched… Jesus, who himself communicated his Father’s message through parables, miracles, and acts of compassion, must be our model….The proposed cultural renewal will allow Jesuits more effectively to share the faith they are called to serve…..a powerful tool which must be used in the promotion of justice in our world.” (GC34, D.15, No.3&4)
St. Ignatius insists on one’s own experience of God’s working in one’s life to model one’s mission in this world. It is this deep personal experience that is to be the guide to one’s mission in this world.
Our Vision “To create a more just society by making better sustainable links through greater service of faith.”
“To be more effective in creating links among Jesuits, their apostolates, and people, becoming better instrumental in the service of faith and promotion of justice in society”
The need of the Hour
Translating this into communication ministry clarifies the way to proceed. BEARING WITNESS TO JUSTICE has been throughout the history of the Society of Jesus an all-consuming desire. The many martyrs both recognized and not canonized are many.
Though based at the Jesuit Provincialate in Negombo (Western Province), the SJ Media Unit is so installed to cater to the promotion and coordinating needs of Jesuit Life-Mission across Sri Lanka and with the universal Society of Jesus. Though predominantly a Buddhist country, Jesuits are scattered all over the Island nation engaging in various apostolates, works and activities, such as running Schools, Academic Institutions, Pre-Primary Schools, Social Service-Action Centres, Ecology & Justice Centres, Spiritual Retreat Centres, Parishes, Youth Centres, and Formation Houses, in all parts of the country irrespective of the nature of concentration of people in those areas be it Tamil speaking, Sinhalese speaking, war-affected, and under-privileged plantation-sector, etc.
The Media Unit of the Province is indeed necessary and it plays a vital role in communication and promotion activities of the Province and its apostolates. It is also a key for promoting more vocations to the Society and attracting youth, lay collaborators and donors (local as well as international) to the Province ensuring the continuity and sustainability of its apostolates and works.
This need is all the more felt today, given the Covid-19 situation and travel restrictions around the world, as online communication/interactions has become very much a necessity and ‘New Normal’ way of going about in society as well as in our life-mission in the Society of Jesus. Jesuit Effort in Communication
Sri Lanka has been targeted by international organizations for its lack of commitment to fundamental freedom –media freedom, freedom of speech etc. therefore, the thrusts of Jesuit communication are bearing witness to Justice, creating reconciliation and communal harmony especially through digital storytelling, creating new productions on justice issues and equality issues.
The Society of Jesus in Sri Lanka prepared some of the Jesuits to be professionally involved in media and communication work. There was an early intention of creating a team of professional in creating influential work in media. However this did not materialize except for a few radio programmed, music cds. The work became diversified in different districts. In akara panaha media became very useful in the youth work—in their video productions in youth work etc. In Trincomallee it became popular through Nonviolent Communication programmes. and the human rights media productions by the human rights center. There is also an attempt to develop a digital visual production centre that could facilitate people to tell their stories. In Batticaloa Fr. Joseph Mary used media in his popular paschal mystery productions. Thulana continues to become a center with professional facilities and productions in visual productions and teaching. Fr. Theodore in his area of expertise tries to create teaching and research programmes on peace and harmony.
Publications: Esjays : Magazine of the Society of Jesus Sri Lanka
Prepared by Rashmi Fernando SJ on behalf of the Jesuit Media Team
Email : firstname.lastname@example.org
Address: St Xavier Residence, No:P/U/47,
St Xavier Mawatha,
Akkarapanaha, Kimbulapitiya Road,
Negombo 11500, Sri Lanka.