In his homily during Holy Mass that the 15 Catholic Media Houses in Nairobi Archdiocese organized, the Coordinator of Social Communications Department of the Association of Member Episcopal Conferences in Eastern Africa (AMECEA) reflected on the relationship between the Solemnity of the Ascension of Jesus and the WCD.
Fr. Andrew Kaufa, and said that the two celebrations are “a reminder of our mission as the mystical body of Christ in the world where technology can be disruptive.”
Fr. Andrew Kaufa (left) and Fr. Andrew Bwalya (right) receiving offertory during the 56th World Communications Day Mass Celebration at the Holy Family Minor Basilica in the Archdiocese of Nairobi on Sunday, May 29. Credit: ACI Africa
“This Jesus whom the disciples saw ascending into heaven expects us all to play our role of promoting the establishment of God’s kingdom through these means of communication, which we are celebrating,” Fr. Kaufa said.
The Malawian-born member of the Montfort Missionaries said that God intended human beings to use the means of communication for evangelization in which the message of reconciliation is communicated to His people.
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“Reconciliation is very important; communion is very important; and these tools must be seen at the service of that type of life, not to cause division, not to promote hate but rather be used for tolerance, to spread messages of equity, unity and integrity,” the Nairobi-based Catholic Priest said.
Making reference to Pope Francis’ Message for 2022 WCD that proposes the theme, “Listening with the Ear of the Heart”, Fr. Kaufa said that a good communicator is a good listener, both to God and to one another.
“We cannot be effective witnesses of Jesus Christ in the modern world if we are not listening first to God who sent us but also to one another,” he said, and added, “Members of the media who are here today, we are called to reflect on how we value the opinions of the people who listen to our radios and TV stations.”
The AMECEA official emphasized the value for attention to audiences. He posed, “How much do we give the people who buy our newspapers the opportunity to talk to us? How much does our radio station or TV stations conduct research from the audience so that they may get feedback from the people?”
The August general elections in Kenya and the ongoing preparations for the Synod on Synodality are main activities this year that require “listening with the ear of the heart”, he said, citing this year’s WCD theme.
Credit: ACI Africa
Fr. Kaufa explained, “General elections are about political aspirants, and political parties presenting their ideas after listening to the people, after doing their research. Is it not the moment to hear about their manifestos, what they are selling to us as voters?”
“Synod requires us to open our ears and hearts to listen to the Holy Spirit to listen to one another especially those members of the church who are oftentimes voiceless, marginalized and perhaps think the church does not value them at all,” he further explained during the May 29 event that was organized by the 15 Catholic Media Houses in Nairobi Archdiocese.
The 15 Catholic Media entities operate on print, broadcast, and digital platforms. They include the Paulines Publications Africa, the Kenya Conference of Catholic Bishops Communications (KCCB), the National Mirror, the Archdiocese of Nairobi, the New People Media Center, and the Messenger of Mary Immaculate.
Others are Radio Maria Nairobi, Bayard Publications, the Bosco Eastern Africa Multimedia Services (BEAMS), the Association of Member Episcopal Conferences in Eastern Africa(AMECEA), The Seed magazine, Loyola Center for Media and Communications, Radio Waumini, Capuchin TV, and the Association for Catholic Information in Africa (ACI Africa).
Silas Mwale Isenjia is a Kenyan journalist with a great zeal and interest for Catholic Church related communication. He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Linguistics, Media and Communication from Moi University in Kenya. Silas has vast experience in the Media production industry. He currently works as a Journalist for ACI Africa.