The Veritas Asia Institute of Social Communication is developing pastoral leaders. (Photo: Vaiscom)
The social communication institute of the Federation of Asian Bishops’ Conferences (FABC) has launched online courses for the formation of pastoral leaders in Asia.
The Manila-based Veritas Asia Institute of Social Communication (Vaiscom) of the FABC Office of Social Communication (OSC) launched three online communication courses on Jan. 6.
OSC chairman Bishop Roberto Mallari inaugurated a website (www.vaiscom.org) and launched the courses via a Zoom conference.
The prelate said communication is central to the mission of the Church. “Our God is a communicating God and communication is central to the mission of the Church,” he said.
The new institute and the online program will instill dynamism among pastoral leaders in Asia and help them acquire the knowledge and skills needed for effective ministry, he added.
Salesian Father George Plathottam, executive secretary of the OSC, said Vaiscom is committed to form personnel for various communication ministries of the church in Asia by means of online, in-campus and in loco programs.
“It will offer training support, support research and follow-up programs. The currant online mode of learning, though planned long before the outbreak of Covid-19, has become a timely and common platform of learning,” he said.
In the online format, Vaiscom plans to offer three programs — basic, advanced and diploma — and students will be able to access video lessons, study notes and other resource materials. The program is in response to the need to equip church leaders meet the challenges presented by the new media and diverse pastoral contexts in Asia.
Quoting Pope Paul VI, FABC assistant secretary-general Father William LaRousse said: “The mission of the Church in Asia is for all peoples.”
He called the new program timely and hugely beneficial at a time when the FABC is celebrating its golden jubilee and communication presents new opportunities.
Father Victor F. Sadaya, general manager of Radio Veritas Asia (RVA), Father John Mishen, director-designate of Vaiscom, and Father Bernard Dashi Tang, program director of RVA, hailed the establishment of the institute and the launching of the program.
An online course titled “Communication for Pastoral Leadership” is due to begin in July and Vaiscom has already started the admission process.
The course is flexible and is offered to individuals as well as institutions like seminaries at an affordable fee. Applicants can register for one course or for all the three and complete the program at their own pace.
A team of Salesians under the leadership of Father Plathottam, with technical support from Delhi-based Manna Media Hub, Manila-based Asia Pacific Consortium of Educational Research and RVA, has designed the course.