By Katie Ascough - 23 May, 2020
Archbishop Eamon Martin has welcomed Pope Francis’ message for the 54th World Day of Social Communications which will be celebrated on Sunday, the Solemnity of the Ascension of the Lord. The theme of Pope Francis’ annual message for this year reflects on the power of storytelling: “That you may tell your children and grandchildren” (Ex 10:2).
Archbishop Martin said, “During this time of Covid-19 restrictions, many grandparents have mentioned how much they miss the physical company and affection of their grandchildren – especially their hugs! The relationship between the generations is a favourite theme of Pope Francis which he reiterates in his communications message for 2020. The Pope often speaks of the bond that exists between younger and older people and for his communications message this year he particularly focuses on the importance of sharing stories across the generations.
“The theme of Pope Francis’ message reminds us that ‘from childhood we hunger for stories … stories influence our lives … [although] not all stories are good stories’. By choosing his theme from the Book of Exodus, the Holy Father underpins how memories and storytelling are precious in our lives and in all the best communications. The telling of stories – inspired by faith, hope and love – is also hugely significant in the handing on of faith from generation to generation.”
Encouraged by Pope Francis, Archbishop Eamon Martin invites grandparents and grandchildren to share their own stories this weekend – whether that’s over the phone, on social media, or by video call – about how they are “coping during the coronavirus crisis”.
“Perhaps the young people could record and capture this moment for the future,” the archbishop suggests. “In years to come, when we look back on 2020, we will be sharing with future generations the story of how the world had to pause, to stand still. Hopefully we will be able to relate the things that we learned from this pandemic experience. Perhaps we will speak of ‘2020 vision’ in a new way, that 2020 was the year we learned to appreciate each other more – our family, our elderly, our friendships, our front-line workers, our clergy – and all because we had to spend some time apart.”
Archbishop Martin concluded by saying that he strongly encourages everyone to read this year’s uplifting Communications Day message by Pope Francis and to reflect on the power of ‘the story’ in our own journey, and on those around us, especially during this restricted period.
As Pope Francis says, “The history of Christ is not a legacy from the past; it is our story, and always timely. It shows us that God was so deeply concerned for mankind, for our flesh and our history, to the point that he became man, flesh and history. It also tells us that no human stories are insignificant or paltry.”