In the week in which we celebrate the 56th World Communications Day, a group of
about 60 people, including parishioners, deacons, priests, seminarians, Daughters of
Charity and communication professionals from Rio de Janeiro, Brasília Area, Minas
Gerais, Rondônia and Goiás, met at the Saint Vincent de Paul Seminary, in Belo
Horizonte, for the 2 nd Symposium of Vincentian Communicators, organized by the
Brazilian Province of the Congregation of the Mission (PBCM), from June 3 to 5. The
objective of the meeting was to promote the exchange of knowledge and to share
experiences in the different areas of communication, inspired by the Vincentian
PBCM Visitor, Father Eli Chaves dos Santos, was unable to attend the event, but sent a
welcome letter read on the opening day, in which he summed up the proposal as
follows. “In this Symposium, inspired by the testimony of Saint Vincent, listen to the
voices and cries of the poor. They, the living and suffering presence of Christ among us,
are our first communicators. May Vincentian communication draw closer and closer to
the poor: let it be the voice of these brothers of ours who are often voiceless; let it
cultivate creative sympathy with the excluded and needy ones, without getting lost in
minor particularities and seduction by the sophistication of technology in
communication; embrace their cause in favor of a just and supportive life; and be
humble, zealous and efficient instruments of mission and charity!”.
And so it was done.
The first day of the Symposium began with a moment of spirituality. Then, Brother
Adriano Ferreira, the communication coordinator for PBCM, gave a presentation on
the works of the Province, and showed a documentary about the 200 years of the
Brazilian Province of the Congregation of the Mission.
The morning of the second day featured a panel by Marcus Tulius, the National
Coordinator of Pascom – CNBB. He spoke about the impacts of the pandemic on
communication, the use of the metaverse as a new platform for evangelization and he
also shared Church communication documents to be used as a reference by
communicators participating in the event.
In the afternoon, each group presented their experiences in communication,
promoting an inspiring moment of sharing. Saturday’s program ended with a panel by
Denilson Sá, the founder and director of Ozanan TV, who broadcast his lecture live on
the channel. Ozanam TV is one of nine Catholic-inspired broadcasters in Brazil, among
national and regional ones.
The symposium ended on Pentecost Sunday, with the participation of advertiser and
graphic designer Tiago Parreiras, who spoke about content for social media. Brother
Adriano Ferreira closed the program with a valuable speech about the Vincentian
Identity in Communication. For Father Denilson Mathias, this was the Symposium’s
most outstanding moment. “We need to generate an identity in our communication:
what we communicate and how we communicate from a Vincentian point of view”, he
said. “I found the meeting very useful and I hope there will be others”, completed
Father Denilson Mathias.
Sister Vanda Elisa Conde, Daughter of Charity of Saint Vincent de Paul, from the
Province of Belo Horizonte, summarized the Symposium as a fraternal moment of the
Vincentian Family. “The meeting provided growth in the area of Communication to all
of us, who were called and sent to pass on the Good News of Jesus Christ in the
experience of the Charism inspired by Saint Vincent de Paul. Gratitude to all who made
this event possible”, said Sister Vanda.
For Brother Adriano Ferreira, the 2 nd Provincial Symposium of Vincentian
Communicators exceeded expectations for two reasons: “first, for the active
participation of everyone. I believe that there was a real immersion of those who were
present. Participants were there not only to acquire knowledge, but also to share their
expertise. This greatly enriched the meeting which, in addition to having good
advisors, could become a moment to share ideas and knowledge. A second important
point to be highlighted was diversity. We had people from the countryside, from
capital cities, people with a lot of experience in communication work, people still in
their first steps in this area, professionals, amateurs, but all with a common objective:
to improve our communication skills. I believe everyone left the meeting with a good
impression and sure that we can improve Vincentian communication skills a whole
lot”, he completed.
Let us be inspired by all the experiences we exchanged and lessons we learned,
especially, by Pope Francis’ message for the World Communications Day: “Listening is
the first indispensable ingredient of dialogue and good communication… In these post-
pandemic times, let us dedicate ourselves to the mission of listening with the ear of