Fr Jason Gordon, director of the School welcomed participants. Rhonda Maingot of Living Water Community, one of the school’s founders, brought greetings while , for Communications, formally declared this year’s school open.
The theme this year is Creating a culture of dialogue through Audio and Interpersonal Communications. The overall theme for the three-year cycle of the School (2007-2009) is Communications – New Pathways to God.
Students completing the three-year CSCC course receive a diploma from the Institute for Pastoral Initiatives at the University of Dayton, Ohio, in collaboration with the Archdiocese of Port of Spain, while first and second year students receive a Certificate of Participation.
This year, as in the past, students and facilitators came from around the Caribbean as well as from the United States of America. During the orientation session, , media education facilitator, attributed the existence of most violence to ineffective communication.
She pointed out that interpersonal communication requires not only an innocent, curious and compassionate approach, but they are also qualities that enable us to touch the divine and seek out the positive. Sr Angela Ann, is professor of religious studies and director of the Institute for Pastoral Initiatives at the University of Dayton, Ohio.
Participants were also taught the importance of listening to and interpreting that which is really being said, taking into account the history of the speaker and carefully assessing the target audience to ensure that their presentation is correctly coded and decoded.
An exciting video presentation entitled “Attitude: Radiating Possibilities” by Ben Zander enforced the points talk and also introduced new concepts including saying “How Fascinating” when a mistake is made.
Before the school ends this weekend there are grounding exercises (plenary sessions) giving the theory and theology of communications, other activities such as prayer sessions, Masses, movie nights and cultural presentations of each country represented at the school.
By the time certificates are distributed, participants would have acquired new communication skills through such workshops as media education, website design, journalism, audio, and video.
This holistic experience of learning, discipline and prayer, can only enhance the Church’s ministry in the area of social communications in the Caribbean.