Makurdi, Benue State, Tuesday, March 26, 2019 – On this date, after the arrivals the previous day from the different Religious Congregations, Arch/Dioceses of Nigeria, the Communication Directors commenced their First Plenary of the year 2019, in the vast landscape of St John Paul II Pastoral Centre, Makurdi, Benue State, in the North Central region of Nigeria. Fr Marcellinus Rebecca Igirigi, cmf, represents the Delegation, in fact, the Nigerian Claretians.

The theme of this Plenary is both interesting and momentous in the sense that it highlights the interpersonal and communitarian elements often not well emphasised in the social communication discourse. Taken from Ephesians 4:25 it states, “‘We are members one of another’ – From Social network Communities To The Human Community,”

As Claretians, it is important to note that the Chief Shepherd of the Catholic diocese of Makurdi is our own brother Claretian, Most Rev Wilfred Chikpa ANAGBE, CMF. He, it was who led all the congregants at the Eucharistic celebration that opened the Conference in the morning of March 26, 2019. He was closely flanked by Most Rev Denis ISIZOH, the Episcopal Chairman CBCN Department of Social Communications. All the Priests, Religious Directors were present at the Mass populated by the lay faithful of the Diocese.

Bishop Anagbe In his homily welcomed all to the diocese. Remarkably, he said, “I must also welcome the Director of Claretian Communications, Fr Marcellinus Rebecca Offor, cmf. We were classmates. Entered the Claretian Congregation same year 1985 and ordained same year 1994. He has been in Brasil for studies. Fr Offor you are welcome.”

Nevertheless, citing many Church documents and Papal encyclicals the Bishop of Makurdi underlined the need for social communications today, more than anytime, in the Catholic Church, for better and effective Evangelisation. He enjoined the communicators to be innovative, firm and bold, yet, true. As directors of Good News, they must avoid the news that harm the society and individual persons. Surely, they must avoid fake news.

Other details will come in sequence.

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