The Communication Congress brings together representatives from various regions of Brazil who work in the communication fields that cover the different branches and communities of the Schoenstatt Work.

The communicators of the Schoenstatt Movement in Brazil gathered at the Second National Communication Congress. The meeting took place between October 30 and November 1 and gathered about 75 participants online. The invited speakers presented the current scenario of communication in the Church, including the Vatican’s official media, reviewing the experience of other charisms, and taking a look at the history of communication within the Schoenstatt Work. All this took place influenced by the national ideal of the Movement: The Tabor.

Every content that is published expresses what we are

Gilberto Leandro Maia, director of TV Canção Nova in Portugal, was the first speaker and his topic was “The institutional communicator: responsibility and mission”. According to Maia, “we are opinion makers” and “what I say to the public must be in line with my organization’s ideas”. Therefore, one should ask oneself: “What are my positions on social media?” He further stressed that “all content posted and shared reflects what we are and what we believe in”.

Congress comunicationAt the end of the conference, Gilberto and his wife Nilza presented a glimpse of the backstage scenario during the transmissions of the Covenant of Love’s Centenary in 2014. They were responsible for transmitting, for Brazil and Portugal, all the programming of Schoenstatt -Germany-, while also producing a documentary about the Movement, which covered several Latin American and European countries.

Father Kentenich, a great communicator

On Sunday, the 31st, a Mass was celebrated in the Original Shrine, which was dedicated to the Congress participants and was presided by Father Antonio Bracht, who motivated them to “love God with all their heart, with all their understanding, as a whole person”.

The intense day full of meaningful content began with Sister M. Nilza P. da Silva, who presented Father Joseph Kentenich as “the great communicator.” According to her, “it is worthwhile to study Father’s life under the focus of communication. All the structure, spirituality and charisma of Schoenstatt have their origin in communication”.

Father Kentenich: More than 10 printed media outlets in 15 years

Sister M. Nilza explained that Father Kentenich used the media available during his time in various ways. In addition to the historic MTA magazine, which was the first official means of communication of the Schoenstatt Work, he stimulated the emergence of diverse printed material among Schoenstatt’s branches and communities: “In 15 years our Father launched or motivated the publication of more than ten printed media outlets. The value he placed on Schoenstatt’s presence in the media was remarkable. He also applied the concept of communication to our spirituality, showing that the Covenant of Love is indeed a perfect communication.”

Sr. Nilza

The current communication of the Schoenstatt Work

Following this historical review, the second part of the conversation was with Brazil’s Sister M. Cacilda Becker, co-coordinator of the International Schoenstatt Movement and responsible for the official communication of the Movement worldwide.

Sister Cacilda explained the current structure of communication, with emphasis on schoenstatt.com, which serves under the General Presidium. She presented the blessings and the many challenges they face so that the official website may truly represent the internationality of our Family and asked: “What message do we transmit, is it reliable, is it the voice of Mary that resounds in our clicks? We are publishing an official communication: coming from a clear and objective source and transmitted with confidence and boldness”.

We are your voice to transfigure reality

LogoIn the last presentation of the day, journalist Jaqueline Montoya, who belongs to the Women’s Apostolic League and works in the public communication sector, highlighted the mission of the Schoenstatt communicator. How can we use our voice to transfigure reality? According to Jaqueline, it is necessary to take a new look: “How do we learn to take this new look? In Schoenstatt we find a valuable tool, I would say indispensable! It is necessary to use the famous “Covenant lenses”, to go beyond the obvious and the first impressions”.

The ways she suggests to transfigure reality through communication are: a life of prayer, exercising our gaze to go beyond the obvious, listening to the voices of the times, assuming the role of instruments in the hands of God and the MTA.

The official Vatican communication

The last day of the congress was dedicated to getting a more profound and better knowledge of the Church’s official means of communication and how they work. The morning began with a video message from journalist Silvonei José Protz, director of the Portuguese-language edition of the Vatican media. In the afternoon, Father Arnaldo Rodrigues joined the Schoenstatt communicators to speak on “Institutional Communication in the Vatican, with emphasis on the Vatican News portal”. Father Arnaldo is Episcopal Vicar for Social Communication in the Archdiocese of Rio de Janeiro and a contributor to Vatican News.

He began by presenting the process of reform within the Vatican communications, stemming from Pope Francis’ request, and its current context: “Reform is not to whitewash things a little, reform is to give another form to things, to organize them in another way”, he says quoting the Pope’s speech at the plenary session of the Secretariat for Communication. Father Arnaldo stresses that the changes introduced do not represent an opposition to the old model, but a complementarity and an updating, according to the new trends. He surprised the attendants by showing Pope Francis’ great interest in the official means of communication of the Church and how he can interfere directly with them if he so wishes.

A National Congress with the participation of 7 countries

participantsDuring the final acknowledgments, Sister M. Nilza recalled that this National Congress began back in the month of April, through monthly workshops. During this period, more than 500 communicators from all over Brazil – from the Schoenstatt Movement and from different dioceses – participated in the workshops. Schoenstatt communicators from seven countries were also present: Brazil, Germany, Italy, Portugal, Chile, Paraguay, and Uruguay.

Being sent to spread the voice of God, Mary and Schoenstatt to the world, the communicators concluded the Congress encouraged and enthusiastic under the motto “Covenant and mission: We are your voice to communicate and transfigure reality today!