On 16 January, the Catholic Communications Office (CCO) hosted the 32nd Diocesan Information Day in Columba Centre of Saint Patrick’s College, Maynooth. The meeting opened with an online address from Archbishop Eamon Martin, who is chair of the Council for Communications of the Bishops’ Conference on opportunities and challenges for Church communications in 2024.
The delegates representing the dioceses of Ireland and the Association of Leaders of Missionaries and Religious of Ireland (AMRI), are responsible for communications in their respective area. The major presentation of the day was provided by Bishop Brendan Leahy, Bishop of Limerick (pictured addressing communications officers), who shared his reflection following attendance at the Universal Synod on Synodality in Rome, in October 2023. The Bishop was followed by Julieann Moran, General Secretary of the Irish Synodal Pathway, who led a discussion on how communication officers can best facilitate the role of the Synodal Church as a communicating Church. This particular topic was complemented with an extensive questions and answers session.
The meeting progressed with presentations from Céire Sadlier, Grants Officer of the Bishops’ Conference, who discussed funding and grant opportunities for parishes and dioceses. Tony Shanahan, Director of Accord, discussed marriage and relationship counselling as well as the new Accord wedding preparation course. Father Willie Purcell, National Vocations Co-ordinator, presented an update on the Year for Vocation to the Diocesan Priesthood on the theme ‘Take the Risk for Christ’, including planned events for 2024.
CCO staff, Crysta Gunn and Chah Garde, concluded the day with a digital and social media workshop which offered the delegates training on creating social media campaigns, design, website management and copyright issues.