“Live your identity as Catholics”: President of SIGNIS Africa to Catholic Journalists

Fr. Walter Chikwendu Ihejirika. Credit: Courtesy Photo

There is need for Catholic journalists in Africa and around the globe to live their identity as Catholics, the President of the African region of the World Catholic Association for Communication, SIGNIS Africa, has said.

Fr. Walter Chikwendu Ihejirika who was addressing delegates of the Sixth SIGNIS World Congress 2022 on Tuesday, August 16 at Sogang University in Seoul, South Korea, urged Catholic journalists to remain focused on the mission of the Church despite technological challenges.

“We should not be afraid to live who we are, to live our identity as Catholics partly because one of the problems we have sometimes is that we feel that the outside identity is better than our own and we tend to move out of our identity in order to wear the gap of other realities,” Fr. Ihejirika said during the second day of the August 15-19 Congress.

He emphasized the need for Catholic journalists “to be Catholic, remain who we are and try to do the job we are to do as Catholic journalists or communicators.”

For instance, the President of SIGNIS Africa went on to say, “We should not be afraid to say that the Church is not old because the message of the Catholic Church remains perennial.”


“Even what seems old in the Catholic Church is continually very relevant to the current technology, and the current society we live in,” he said.

The member of the Clergy of Nigeria’s Ahiara Diocese cautioned Catholic journalists against the temptation to live according to the “logic of politics, the logic of finance and the logic of domination”.

Catholic journalists, Fr. Ihejirika said, need to “live the paradox of living sometimes against the trends of the time, the logic of the time, the ideologies that govern the media practice of the time, and which is most often the logic of politics, the logic of finance and the logic of domination.”

“We are called to move towards the other side of the logic of the beatitude, which is sometimes contradictory, that happiness can be found in poverty; contradictory, but that's what we are called to do,” he told the delegates of the sixth SIGNIS World Congress 2022.

He underscored the need to foster good relationships and reaching out to those in need of our assistance, saying, “We can be good only by being helpful to others, by swimming against the current.”

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“When we have the strength to fight against the currents of the time, we will be able to rise and then to fly higher to show the world how to become connected even in the midst of the loneliness we feel,” he said.

Reflecting on the theme of the August 15-19 Congress, “Peace in the Digital World,” Fr. Ihejirika said, “Digital technologies, despite the good side of it, have the potential also of making us disconnected and losing our sense of connection as human beings.”

“We are not just called to connect; we are called to communicate. And as Catholics we are also called to treat the issue of communication as self-giving sacrifice,” the SIGNIS Africa President said, and added, “As Christians we must communicate; we must live in communion.”

He called upon the delegates of the SIGNIS World Congress 2022 to take note of the distinction “between connection and communication”, saying, “We are not just called to connect; we are called to communicate.”

In his August 16 address, the President of the African region of SIGNIS urged Catholic journalists to foster the MDGs, saying, “make an effort to promote the millennium development goals”.


In promoting the MDGs, Fr. Ihejirika said, “we are also finding ways of making us become more connected and be communion.”

Jude Atemanke is a Cameroonian journalist with a passion for Catholic Church communication. He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Journalism and Mass Communication from the University of Buea in Cameroon. Currently, Jude serves as a journalist for ACI Africa.