By Kaelanne Jordan
The media has changed so much of who we are as a Caribbean people and has given us such incredible opportunities of who we can become.
However, the purpose of the Caribbean School for Catholic Communications (CSCC) is not to allow the passive receptivity of the changing media to alter us, but to fire the imagination of the Caribbean person to think, reflect and use the tools of communication in shaping a Caribbean, a region, a people, and a vibrant culture. That culture should reflect who we are at our best and challenge who we are at our worst.
So said CSCC Principal Archbishop Jason Gordon during his presentation ‘AEC Communications Vision for Region’ at an anniversary ceremony to mark 25 years of the School, Monday August 5 at the Emmaus Retreat Centre, Arima.
The Caribbean School for Catholic Communications offers people from the Caribbean the opportunity to keep abreast and explore the current social media and digital tools to evangelise in their diocese/parish. This mission brings together two very important dimensions: missionary discipleship and digital citizens, both of vital importance to the Caribbean.
From its first year, CSCC has attracted participants from all over the region, as far as Bahamas, Jamaica, Suriname, Guyana and many of the islands in-between.
The Archbishop said that over the last couple years, the Antilles Episcopal Conference (AEC) bishops have realised the importance of communications, so much so, the bishops dedicated the last three years to finding ways to work with these new evolving technologies and cultures that are emerging.
“Whether we like it or not, the technology is affecting the Caribbean. And the question is whether it will affect the Caribbean because it washes over us or whether it will affect the Caribbean because we enter into conversation with it and use that conversation to an evolution for ourselves as opposed to a reshaping from outside of ourselves. The technology can’t easily be resisted, not unless you willing to take down every tower in your nation,” he said.
There is something that runs like a “golden thread” through the region and all its many parts connects us with a way of understanding ourselves and a way of living in this space, the Archbishop said.
To this end, Archbishop Gordon observed that the 25 years of existence of the Caribbean School for Catholic Communications has done a lot in helping our young people think about media and its consequences on us as people, Church and a civilisation.
Meanwhile CSCC Vice Principal Sr Angela Ann Zukowski who gave an overview/ guidelines/ expectations of the School said that what made the School so special is that participants come with a perspective, a mindset that is Catholic. ‘Catholic’ is more than an attitude that persons attach to the School. “It’s our identity; it’s our mission; and it’s our vision” that is rooted in our rich, Catholic living tradition.
Sr Angela Ann observed that there are many Catholic schools, and people seem to be searching for their Catholic identity. She opined that we are Catholics not only by the virtues of Baptism and Confirmation but by our very way of life.
Ultimately, Sr Angela said that at the CSCC, persons ought to be thinking all the time how the idea of being Catholic influences every single production that they are involved in.
Living Water Community Co-Foundress Rhonda Maingot did the welcome remarks to the anniversary ceremony with Lisa Bhajan, Trinity TV station manager and CSCC facilitator, and Vicar for Communications Fr Robert Christo presenting.
Also speaking was overseas radio facilitator Sherry Kennedy-Brownrigg, while CSCC coordinator Suzanne Dowdy did the vote of thanks.
Two videos were shown of CSCC on its 20th anniversary providing a background and another by Francisco Reyes on Religious Imagination, considered one of the best videos produced at the School. The 2019 CSCC programme culminated August 10.