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“Only trust can generate trust and make us grow in our common mission”| Dr. Nataša Govekar to SIGNIS delegates
Last September SIGNIS held its Assembly of Delegates in Brussels, Belgium, for the first time since the beginning of the covid-19 pandemic. Here, the institutional and financial reports were presented, the new Delegates were introduced and the Board of Directors for the 2022-2026 period was approved. During the second day of the Assembly, Dr. Nataša Govekar, director of the Department of Pastoral Theology in the Vatican’s Dicastery for Communication and the Dicastery’s representative for SIGNIS, addressed the participants with an inspiring speech about community building within the Church. In her speech, Dr. Govekar takes into consideration the difficulties the Church is facing at all levels, underlining a certain struggle in rediscovering and better understanding its mission in a time of epochal changes and fast advancement. She stressed how, in this period of uncertainty, many initiatives and entities connected to the Church ended up being concerned only with themselves and many ecclesiastical establishments seemed to be, as Pope Francis wrote in the Message to the Pontifical Mission Societies in 2020, “swallowed up by the obsession of promoting themselves and their own initiatives, as if that were the objective and goal of their mission”. Dr. Govekar opposed these types of behavior to the silent work of the Holy Spirit, and how it is extremely important nowadays to have faith in the idea that chaos and confusion are fundamental steps into achieving harmony, exactly how it happened during Pentecost. “The Holy Spirit is sowing something new, even if we don’t see it yet”, she affirmed. According to her, the Holy Spirit is moving SIGNIS through the potential creation of strong networks and communities, therefore becoming more than a steady establishment, but rather a “translator of the Gospel message into the world of multimedia”. In order to do so, Nataša Govekar underlined the importance of “servant leaders”, meaning people who can facilitate community building and do not care about “occupying a position”, but rather on spending time at the service of the Church. “The Church desperately needs people who are able to forget themselves and recognize the gifts and talents of others and are willing to put all the talents in common”, Dr. Govekar claimed, as she urged the members of the Assembly to become facilitators of God’s work in others, in all members of SIGNIS for the benefit of all who SIGNIS wants to serve. As the Church, along with the entire world, is facing new challenges and re-learning how to communicate and discover others, Dr. Govekar incited everyone to see SIGNIS not only as an organization, but as part of the communitarian journey which needs the contribution of all of its members not only as professionals but as brothers and sisters. SIGNIS’ representative of the Dicastery for Communication then proceeded to conclude her speech with words of hope and affirmation: “Let us not be afraid to give space and trust to a younger generation, who desires to share not only the execution of the projects, but also the spirit from which the projects are born. Let us remember that only trust can generate trust and can make us all grow in responsibility for a common mission”.
SIGNIS Colombia officially joins the SIGNIS World family
After the latest SIGNIS Assembly, several organizations were confirmed as new members of SIGNIS. One of these is SIGNIS Colombia, a team of 30 journalists, communicators, designers, teachers, and religious and lay people who are committed to communion through communication. SIGNIS Colombia represents a network of more than just colleagues, but friends, who walk together to promote the protection of our Common Home and believe in using the media to transform their country in the light of the Gospel, promoting human dignity, justice, peace, and reconciliation. All crucial concepts to tackle in a country that has faced adverse social issues and where peace has been threatened for far too long. Here, communication can play a key role in bringing people together, sparking change, and giving a voice to those who have been continuously silenced. Recently endorsed by the Colombian Episcopal Conference, SIGNIS Colombia is now part of the global SIGNIS family. For the occasion, some of the SIGNIS Colombia members got together to celebrate and reflect on the road ahead. The fraternal dinner was also an opportunity to congratulate SIGNIS Colombia founding president Oscar Elizalde, who was just appointed as a consultor to the Vatican’s Dicastery for Communication. During dinner, the president of SIGNIS Colombia, Daysi Velásquez, delivered a message for Mr. Elizalde: “count on our commitment to accompany in prayer and action your work and this purpose of Pope Francis for a communication that radiates from Colombia for the whole continent with synodal synergies". The meeting was attended by Fernando Rueda, one of the youngest and most vibrant voices of SIGNIS Colombia, and Luis Mario Luna, who has encouraged and inspired this process with creativity and disposition; Javier Castañeda, Miryam Solano and Alma Montoya, a pillar of SIGNIS Colombia, were also present. “We are confident that this leadership will enable us to have a greater presence in the regions. Fraternity, as a living seal, marked the beginning of our entity. So, sharing this moment of celebration and planning is the beginning of what we hope will be constant communication and fraternal sharing at the service of the faith”, affirms Daisy Velásquez.