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”.