The meeting immediately followed the recently concluded VOICES Project. Animating the meeting were Fr. Harris Pakkam, SDB, of the Social Communications sector in Rome and Fr. Ambrose Pereira, SDB, Regional Coordinator.
The meetings began with the celebration of the Holy Mass in the morning followed by three sessions in the morning, afternoon and early evening. The Thailand province through the generosity of Fr. Boonlert Paneethattayasai Anthony, SDB, provincial, and Fr. Dheparat Pitisant, SDB, Salesian Retreat House Rector, warmly received and took care of the needs of the delegates and the meeting.
The presence of lay mission partners sent by their delegates is also notable for closer participation and lay empowerment.
The first day of the meeting was held to understand and deepen the communication network of the EAO. Fr. Pakkam led the delegates through the history, role, and function of the Agenzia Info Salesiana (ANS).
He invited the delegates for stronger communication and syndication of news noting that the “sin of non-communication” brings grave harm to the Salesian mission. He also shared with the region the standards for news writing and other avenues for sharing information at the congregational level.
In the evening, the delegates reviewed the participation in the Don Bosco Global Youth Film Festival and proposed measures for wider and more effective participation.
The region also acknowledged the other levels of news syndication in Bosco Link / Australasia and the Salesian News Asia Pacific.
The second day of the meeting focused on the sharing of best practices and province communication plans. Each province is required by the Social Communications sector in Rome to systematize communication efforts based on each province’s Organic Provincial Plan and local situation.
Fr. Pakkam invited the delegates to push for major thrusts in communication and a clear understanding of the plan with the provincial and his council.
He reminded the delegates to also consider economic and sustainable plans for their communication initiatives as well as to collaborate effectively and ensure that the plans include and engage the different pastoral commissions of the province, houses and institutions.
Closing the meeting, the delegates shared initial thoughts on propagating the fruits and momentum of the Voices project in their provinces.
Fr. Pakkam then thanked the delegates and participants for making the four days of meeting fruitful and meaningful. Through the regional meetings, closer synergy and cooperation among the different communication sectors ensure the social communications mission of the Salesians of Don Bosco.