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Catholic Culture and Identity : Camsel’s key role – Jul 31

Catholic Culture and Identity : Camsel’s key role – Jul 31 PDF Print E-mail

new taglineBy Vernon Khelawan

Now that the importance of the Second Pastoral Priority – Revitalising Catholic Culture and Identity – should have been firmly planted into the psyche of the members of our Church, there is need to continue the process of education, to keep the revitalisation idea at the forefront of our minds.

Catholic Media Services Limited (CAMSEL), as the communications arm of the archdiocese, believes it has an indispensable role in the process and will take the lead in kicking off this campaign, drawing upon a document on the subject by Bishop-elect for Barbados and St Vincent and the Grenadines Msgr Jason Gordon.

Let’s start at the beginning. “Revitalise” brings two concepts together – re and vitalise “re” means to bring back again and “vitalise” means to give energy or life to. So the call to revitalise Catholic Culture and Identity is about making our Catholic culture vital or alive again.

Culture consists of the customs, ideas, behaviours etc, characteristic of a particular group or people. It can only exist in and through the human being. A culture can come to be assimilated into other cultures but a culture can also die. Greek culture, for instance, was vital at a certain period in history, but was eventually subsumed into other cultures. In the end, it was surpassed by the Roman culture.

Vital in reference to culture and identity has to do with the underlying conditions for human flourishing.

• People find the culture attractive and identify or affiliate with it;

• They find it satisfying, so they participate or commit to it;

• They find it meaningful so they transfer the culture and its values across generations to their children; and

• They believe it to be essential so they can transmit it to others – their peers and other social subgroups (evangelisation).

It is only when sufficient numbers of people are involved in the culture on the four levels can it be said a culture is vital.

Our identity is defined by what we choose to borrow or reject. Says Msgr Gordon: “The Church has always had cultural borrowings and refusals. This is the stuff of identity. We form our identity around the elements of culture that we refuse to borrow. Identity is not static, it is evolving; it is around what makes you different from others… It is what we believe makes us unique.”

As our Vicar of Communications, Msgr Cuthbert Alexander said at our recent Communicate. Church conference, “Taking these points into consideration, the role of Catholic communications cannot be underestimated. It is central.”

Last Updated on Thursday, 04 August 2011 16:07