17 Apr 2012
The staff of Domus Australia pulled out all the stops last night to welcome delegates from Church Communication offices from across Europe, Britain, Asia, Africa, South America and the USA at the end of the first day of the three day seminar currently being held in Rome.
Among the guests at Domus Australia was Monsignor Paul Tighe, Secretary of the Pontificial Council for Social Communications who will visit Australia at the end of the month as one of the featured speakers at the Australian Catholic Media Congress to be held in Sydney from 30 April-2 May.
Yesterday, the first day of the three day Seminar in Rome, Archbishop Claudio Maria Celli, President of the Pontifical Council for Social Communications took the chair as moderator. Today, 17 April, Norberto Gonzalez Gaitano, Vicerector of the Pontifical University of the Holy Cross will act as moderator.
Tomorrow, the third and final day, delegates will attend an audience with the Holy Father, Pope Benedict XVI after which Media Spokesman for the Holy See, Father Federico Lombardi will lead those attending the Seminar on a tour of the Vatican Press Office.
Social networking websites were also discussed with Katrina Lee, Director of Communications for the Archdiocese of Sydney presenting a report on the strategies used in the huge success of the fast-growing Catholic social networking site, www.Xt3.com.
Launched by the Archdiocese in June 2008, shortly before World Youth Day in Sydney, Xt3.com now has more than 70,000 registered members with approximately 150,000 pageviews per month and more than 1,000,000 unique visitors from 216 countries across the world.
In the past four years, the website has not only become one of the most popular Catholic websites globally but has grown into a content-driven website, providing Catholic news, videos, podcasts, smartphone Apps and live webcasts of important events to young Catholics across the globe.
Presenting the paper on Xt3, entitled: "Strategies for Improving the Impact of Church Websites: The Case of Xt3.com," Katrina Lee told delegates that despite being created in Australia, the site resonated with young Catholics worldwide with the largest user groups coming from the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, the Philippines and Australia.
Named the Best Website for a Publication at the 2011 Australian Catholic Press Awards for Excellence, Xt3.com had been described by the judges as "an outstanding website that is not only a standout among entries or within the wider Catholic landscape, but was a winner within any web competition anywhere in the world," she said.
The Seminar was officially opened this morning, 16 April, with a welcoming address by Msgr Louis Romera, Rector of Rome's Pontifical University of the Holy Cross. This was followed by a series of presentations from leading Catholic experts in communication from universities, news services and communication offices worldwide.
Among the discussions and presentations given on today was a report by a team of journalists from Britain's Catholic Communications Network (CCN) on the success of the media training given to 70 young people throughout England and Wales to prepare them as media correspondents during Madrid's 2011 World Youth Day. A panel of journalists including representatives from the secular media such as the American Associated Press Television News was also a highlight.
Vocation webcasts and strategies will also be part of the tomorrow's agenda as well as Catholic education and opportunities for wider evangelisation and catechesis. There will also be a presentation on the Social Media Revolution taking place in Africa and its potential for the New Evangelisation.
On the final day of the conference tomorrow, among the important discussions will be an address by Cardinal Raymond Burke, Prefect of the Supreme Tribunal of the Apostolic Signatura on Communication and Justice, subtitled "When Legal Cases Become News."
To find more about the seminar, presenters and the experts who will deliver papers at this all important conference, log on to http://bib26.pusc.it/csi/ucc2012/index_en.html or to the website of the Pontifical University of the Holy Cross University at http://en.pusc.it/ and click on English version. http://www.sydneycatholic.org/news/latest_news/2012/2012417_570.shtml