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Collaboration nurtures solidarity, synergy, stewardship

In the third instalment of understanding the IPCP process, Vicar for Communications, Fr Robert Christo, calls us to reflect deeply on the Bible reference so in tune with the vision of an Integrated Pastoral Communications Plan: “Just as each of our bodies has several parts and each part has a separate function, so all of us, in union with Christ, form one body, and as parts of it we belong to each other”. (Romans 12:4)

What is required to fully contribute to the IPCP vision?

A full understanding of its impact, cultural background and the need for shifting paradigms are critical. Ongoing formation is essential. It includes an openness to collaborative and authentic dialogue, prayer, healing, reconciliation and discernment with a thrust toward envisioning practical steps toward designing and implementing the IPCP. Any pilot should strive to facilitate more vibrant and relevant collaborative ministries in the “new ways of being church”.

Can you give a general idea of the structure of our Archdiocese’s IPCP?

So far, our Archdiocese’s IPCP operation team involves 14 members from various ministries who meet monthly to discuss a collaborative pilot project. The plan is structured into phases which include: Research, Design, Implementation and Evaluation. From time to time, the Catholic News has highlighted what we have done so far. We are hoping to evaluate the process and build from there.

Is it only about technology?

Communication is not about technology alone; rather it has a deep spiritual and theological base. This (communication) has permeated every aspect of modern humanity and must be reflected on deeply.

It naturally facilitates building communion which is at the heart of all communities. The technology will not dictate authenticity nor success but the human heart will. It will also challenge our capacity to embrace and use wisely and extensively all the means of communication at our disposal.

What do you see as the main pastoral challenges regarding communications?

Getting clergy, church departments and ministries to move away from the isolationist model of being church so entrenched in our present model, and embrace real collaboration, solidarity and synergy for realising the mission of the Church in the digital era.

What is being done to share the message of IPCP with other communities and parishes?

Plans are in train to:

Create a facilitating and collaborative environment for future thinking, ongoing dialogue and formation at a Vicariate level with the objective to create Communication teams at each parish /community. These teams will eventually report to IPCP executive team. The major challenge will be to manage the “change culture” process.

Encourage and invite ministers to participate in IPCP e-seminars which will introduce the theme of IPCP and guide them on how they can be a part of the big picture.

Engage the IPCP core team to spearhead another pilot project with a few key parishes using IPCP model as a tool to further deepen Archbishop Emeritus Joseph Harris’ pastoral letter on Return to Hospitality.

What happens if we do not respond in this way at this speed?

With broadcast technology circa 1945, Protestant churches responded swiftly and we saw the birth of television evangelists. There are now rumours that another large church is engaging its congregation to respond to this new evolving digital milieu. We must respond with an effective integrated plan to remain relevant as church and to present a global working platform for being church for our generations to come.

Where can I get further details?

Contact the office of the Vicar for Communications at Catholic Media Services Limited (CAMSEL): 625-0972 or email: