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Communications Task Force

Global Plan of the General Council 2019-2025

Richard Byrne, O.Carm.

Aware of the growing importance of the ministry of community for evangelisation – especially by means of so­cial networks (Con. 35) – the Carmelite Order seeks to speak words of hope and of salvation “more by our life than by our words” (Con. 24) to all women and men wherever they may be but especially to anyone “who draws their inspira­tion from the Rule of St Albert” (Con. 28). The primary fo­cus of all communications from the Carmelite Order is the message of the Gospel, the Good News of the Kingdom of God, which we have received from Christ the living Word, expressed through the charism of the Carmelite Order us­ing a wide variety (media) of means of communication.

The Carmelite Order embraces the use of different me­dia including websites, social networks, publications and video/music productions for both internal and external communication. Our ministry of communication does not aim to simply generate information for consumption but instead wishes to foster mutually respectful encounters in which human beings can truly listen to each other and grow in understanding and knowledge (Pope Francis, 2015, World Communications Day). In addition, Carmelites acknowledge that it is not a matter of simply advertising ourselves but instead of “bearing witness to what the Spirit writes in our hearts” (Pope Francis, 2020, World Communications Day).

In particular, in our use of social networks, Carmelites wish to foster mutually respectful encounters in which human beings can truly listen to each other and grow in understanding and knowledge. In the public square of the digital world, we have “a responsibility for our neighbour whom we do not see but who … has a dignity which must be respected” (Pope Francis, 2016, World Communications Day). Keeping mind that the Prophet Elijah recognised the voice of God not in the great and strong wind nor in the earth­quake or the fire, but in “a still small voice” (1 Kg 19:11-12), Carmelites are aware that the “truth which we long for does not derive its worth from its ‘popularity’ or from the amount of attention it receives” (Pope Benedict XVI, 2011, World Communications Day).

Communication within our Carmelite Family allows us to recognise each other and creates a closeness by which our common vocation can be recognised and fostered. The General Curia acknowledges that it has an important role to play in this ministry and, consequently, wishing to strengthen and update this important ministry, the General Council establishes a Task Force with the following terms of reference.

Plans

  1. To evaluate and update the General Curia’s current on­line presence and use of social networks.
  2. To explore different possible methods of providing the Order’s desired online presence (external agencies, in­ternal appointments) and make a proposal to the Gen­eral Council with a proposed budget.
  3. To evaluate and propose a structure for the General Cu­ria’s Communications Office.
  4. To propose a job description for the office of the Del­egate for social communication (Con. 323).
  5. To explore and propose ways in which communica­tion can be fostered between the General Curia and the various areas of the Order (internal) and to those who feel drawn to the values of Carmel (external).
  6. To propose a Communications Plan for the Carmelite Order.
  7. In consultation with the Task Force for the Reform of the Institutum Carmelitanum, to evaluate the mission and structure of Edizioni Carmelitane (including how its publications are distributed) and, if necessary, propose how this might be updated.

Members

  • Richard Byrne, O.Carm.
  • William Harry, O.Carm. (PCM, USA)
  • Roberto Hasudungan Sianturi, O.Carm. (Indonesia)
  • David Hoffman, O.Carm. (Australia-Timor Leste)

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