January 14, 2022

We Are Your Voice: Communication to Shape History

Sister M. Nilza P. da Silva

In the year 2021, all official communication of the Apostolic Schoenstatt Movement in Brazil was determined by the motto, ´

We Are Your Voice: Communication to Shape History.

As the National Coordinator for Communication, I can speak of wonders the Blessed Mother accomplishes through small instruments.

Being the Blessed Virgin Mary today – being there, where she needs to be

The tools of social media are part of our mission. In the team that I coordinate, there are journalists like me, designers, experts in marketing, and many members from other professions. With much love and generosity they undertake the communication from their shrines, their branch, or their Schoenstatt community. The  pandemic has demanded much from all of us and simultaneously has made clear how important it is to use the media in the spirit of our mission. To bring our MTA, her shrines, and our father and founder authentically via television, the internet, and radio, we had to learn numerous things very quickly.

Therefore, with the lay team that had been formed to coordinate the Second Congress of Communication we decided this year to unfold and expand the program elaborated the previous year and to make it available to everyone involved in the pastoral ministry of communication in the dioceses of Brazil.

Joint communication of pastoral ministry in Brazil

From April to October, we held eight workshops with experts on various topics. To our surprise, more that 500 representatives of Catholic communication in dioceses from the north to the south of our country registered. Representatives of communication from other countries such as Italy, Portugal, Germany, Chile, Uruguay, and Paraguay also participated.

Some of the topics were:

  • Protection of data and copyright,
  • Creating and editing various texts,
  • Videos and Podcasts,
  • Creating and planning social networks,
  • Creating and broadcasting in radio stations and
  • Drafting of guideliness by the Catholic Church for major television stations.

The Mother of God sent experienced and generous professionals for each topic.

The Second National Communications Congress

From October 30 – November 1, 2021 the Second National Communications Congress took place 100 % on line. The topic was:

Communication and Mission

under the motto:

We Are Your Voice: Communication to Shape History

Every morning a theme for reflection was presented in Video and text. There were conferences in the afternoons until evening. We watched videos

  • By the Natonal Director of the Schoenstatt Movement, Pe.Vandemir Meister,
  • M. Cacilda Becker for international coordination,
  • Father Alexandre Awi from the Dicastery for Laity, Families und Life,
  • José Silvonei Protz, Coordinator of the Portuguese language at the Vatican News.

The conferences served to deepen the participants own knowlege and experience in the field of institutional communication in the Church.

The following participants reported about their experiences:

  • Gilberto und Nilza Maria, Leaders of TV Canção Nova in Portugal, spoke about “The Institutional Communicator: Responsibility and Mission;”
  • M. Nilza P. da Silva: “Father Kentenich: The Great Example of a Communicator;”
  • M. Cacilda Becker: “The Official International Communication of Schoenstatt;”
  • Jaqueline Montoya, Journalist, Member of the Women’s League of Schoenstatt; “Communication to Shape History: We Are Your Voice!”
  • Father Arnaldo Rodrigues, Doctor of Communication, Episcopal Vicar for Communication of the Archdiocese of Rio de Janeiro and Vatican News contributor: “Institutional Communication in the Vatican with a Focus on Vatican News.”

We participate in the grace of the founder’s charism

Each speaker was very committed in the presentation of his or her topic. As Gilberto put it: “To be a communicator in a movement is a calling to paritipate in the founder’s charism. Only in union with the founder can it be effective.”

Father Arnaldo underscored that the ultimate responsibility for communication of the Vatican rests with Pope Francis who has the right to intervene when and how he will. To serve the Church well it is necessary to act with much selflessness, without projecting oneself.

Great admiration arose among the participants for our father and founder from the point of view of communication, and to see how, when communicating he always acted, within the best possibilities at the time, in a very professional, courageous and objective way.

We are your voice!

We saw how relevant the content was to the attendees by the questions they asked the speakers, by the comments they made, and by the thanks the speakers received. “I never thought there is such a level of refelction and communicaton in Schoenstatt,” commented one participant.

“I am very grateful for the gift of having you with me in communication. It fills my heart with so much joy,” wrote the National Coordinator of Pastoral Communication for the Brazilian Bishops Conference.

We continue our mission trusting in the Blessed Virgin Mary, the Queen of Communication. She should continue her Magnificat through us and proclaim the great deeds God has done, also through the life, the charism, and mission of our founder.