We had the meeting as scheduled from 8th to 10th Oct 2013 at CBCM, Yangon. The resource persons were: Bishop Yvon Ambroise, Bishop of Tuticorin, India, former director of Caritas-Asia; Fr. Raymond Ambroise, Executive Secretary, FABC-OSC; Fr. Franz-Josef Eilers, SVD, former Executive Secretary, FABC-OSC; Fr. Amalraj sj from the Jesuit Community in Yangon and Fr. Gabriel Htun Myint, RVA-Program Director, Philippines was our facilitator: Diocesan directors, 5 Bishops and 15 Social Communications directors and RVA Myanmar services program cooperators participated in the meeting.
The meeting started with analyzing concretely the current problems of Emerging Myanmar society which the Church should address through the Communication Apostolate. We perceived Myanmar as a society in transition with globalization tendencies fostered by corporate companies as a major force which plays an invisible hand in regulating the day to day life. We also realized that a new fundamentalist force is emerging through a section of Buddhists who say: one nation, one religion, one culture, one language and one people in a country where there are many ethnic groups.
We also met with the Creative Cultural Artists Group with lay Catholic artists who for the first time prepared a multi-cultural musical program on Jesus of Nazareth and enacted it for the first time in Yangon National Theatre houseful with thousands attending for 2 days. Fr. Eilers appreciated and encouraged such ventures in the future.
Fr. Eilers, based on his experience and expertise in Communication Apostolate, then presented his vision of pastoral communication apostolate for Myanmar. He suggested that the national structure for Communication Office should be three faceted: Interpersonal/Cultural Section, Media Section and Social Networks Section which would become a reality in the next 3 to 5 years. Fr. Eilers also cautioned that the Communication Apostolate should not be an isolated entity and one among many offices in Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Myanmar but animate all the offices of CBCM because Communication is a dimension of life and should permeate all other offices. He cited the recent interview of Pope Francis about this. Bishop Yvon added his analysis and clarified the role of culture in society. Fr. Raymond Ambroise spoke about the implications of RVA becoming an internet radio and how the language services can enrich their services.
There was a strong recommendation that the Creative Artists Association Myanmar which is a lay initiative and which has proved its capacity recently should be popularized offering training and developing such cultural programs in all ethnical groups. There is a need to develop a think tank for the content of all media program so that Nation Building efforts are strengthened and neo-fascist efforts are exposed to make people critically aware of it and act accordingly.
The National Office should be developed with these perspectives in mind switch the National Director at the helm of developing communication, permeating and inspiring all the other Commissions. We also contacted BBC Media Action, Yangon and Myanmar Egress which are conducting many training programs on media and they are willing to train our personnel. The diocesan directors will be asked to participate in these meetings and the National Office will co-ordinate.
2. Name and address
The Official name of Social Communication is “Catholic Bishops’ Conference Of Myanmar - Episcopal Commission For Social Communications, (Office Of Social Communications -CBCM-OSC)” and the address is the following:
Episcopal Commission for Social Communications, Myanmar.
The Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Myanmar (CBCM)
292(A) Pyay Road, Sanchaung P.O,.Yangon 11111, Myanmar.
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org , Tel: (+95 1) 525808.
Once again millions of thanks to our resource persons, Bishop Yvon Ambroise, Fr. Raymond Ambroise, Fr. Franz-Josef Eilers, SVD, Fr. Amalraj sj from the Jesuit Community in Yangon and Fr. Gabriel Htun Myint and to all the participants His Grace Archbishop Paul Grawng, Bishop John Hsane Hgyi, Bishop Peter Hla, Bishop Francis, Bishop Raymond Po Ray, Social Communications directors and RVA program coordinators and CBCM staffs for your kind cooperation in bringing up the our Social Communications Commission and especially your sacrificial participation in the seminar.
With best wishes in the service of the Lord Jesus,
Bishop Peter Hla (President)
Fr. Leo Mang (Executive secretary)
Social Communications Commission