The fourth edition of the Pilgrimage of Catholic Media, promoted by the Council for Social Communication of the Bishops’ conference of Slovakia, took place on 19 May in Bratislava, on the eve of the 46th World Day of Social Communication. Kapitulska street and St. Martin’s Cathedral became a ”melting pot” of hundreds of people who wanted to meet representatives of Catholic media, talk to them about their work and see the premises where the programs based on faith in Jesus Christ are prepared.
Leaven of the society. “It is essential for the Catholic media to realize that their role is not to substitute commercial and public media”, says Jozef Kovacik, director of the Press office of the Bishops’ conference, explaining that their main aim is “to be a leaven”. To estimate their powers and possibilities and offer relevant programs to the faithful and those who are seeking the sense of life. “I believe that the priority is to bring a decent alternative in the society that sometimes offers non-culture instead of culture”, concludes Kovacik. “The atmosphere of the pilgrimage was very pleasant and encouraging, we could see how much personal dedication and self-sacrifice there is in the service of Catholic media”, shared his feelings Mons. Stanislav Zvolensky, president of the Council for Social Communication. He observed that although their employees and collaborators are paid, their work always bears “a strong dimension of very personal approach”, showing that they really like their mission.
Cooperation among Catholic media. All Catholic media have the sense of community, unification of people and openness towards the truth written in their “genetic code”, affirmed Juraj Spuchlak, director of the Radio Lumen, the only Catholic radio broadcaster in the country, expressing hope that mutual cooperation will be developing more intensively in the future. “Every month the representatives of the Catholic Newspaper, Radio Lumen, Television Lux and Press Office of the Bishops’ conference meet to discuss possibilities of cooperation, exchange of experiences and solution of problems, which is very important and I’m glad it’s happening. This meeting in Bratislava can also help a lot because it’s not only about work but about strengthening of personal relations as well”, explained Spuchlak, interviewed by the SIR Europe.
The Andrej Radlinsky Prize. The Pilgrimage of Catholic media traditionally culminates with awarding of the Andrej Radlinsky Prize to the media representatives whose work significantly contributed to the development of Christian media in Slovakia. This year, the Council for Social Communication conferred the award to the founder of the Catholic Radio Lumen, bishop of Banska Bystrica Rudolf Balaz, in memoriam; founder of the on-line breviary project in Slovak, Czech and Hungarian languages, Juraj Videky; and dramaturgist and director of radio plays about lives of the saints, Alojz Cobej. “I was very surprised by the positive reaction of the media environment in general. Despite the fact that this award is given by the Church, which is usually perceived with certain kind of scepticism by the secular media market, this particular prize is acknowledged with great respect”, expresses his feelings Jozef Kovacik, affirming how important it is to appreciate the work of journalists who “promote real values and truth in the world full of commerciality and superficiality”.
Mediators of God’s voice. “Let’s thank for everything that we were able to offer to people through the work of Catholic media during the last year and ask for a spiritual power for all those who work in these media, for their blessed and useful service in the future”. With these words Mons. Stanislav Zvolensky invited pilgrims to participate at the Eucharistic celebration concluding the program of the Catholic media day in Bratislava. The homily was pronounced by the Greek Catholic eparch of Bratislava, Mons. Peter Rusnak, who exhorted everyone to become “transmitter of the God’s merciful love”. “We all should become mediators of His voice and enable that the Word of God could bring hope to every day of life, to help us carry our personal crosses and pains with patience, to spread joy and belief that Jesus Christ is always here with us”, said Mons. Rusnak.
Four-year history of media pilgrimages. Tradition of the Pilgrimage of Catholic media was established in May 2009 in Trnava, followed by Banska Bystrica in 2010, Sastin in 2011 and Bratislava in 2012. The event usually takes place on the eve of the World Day of Social Communication and is associated with collection among the faithful to help fulfillment of the mission of the Catholic media in all parishes of the country.