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Reflection on World Communications Day, May 8

As World Communications Day approaches, it provides an opportunity to reflect on my (rather new) role as Communications Director for the Sisters of St. Joseph of Toronto.

When asked what I do for a living, people frequently respond with curious looks and questions, such as: "What type of communication would you do for a convent?" "What are nuns doing these days anyway?" "Do you have to wear a habit?"  When I respond, they are often surprised. Misconceptions about modern-day religious life abound.

The truth is, I tell them, I love my job and am thrilled to be able to communicate the history, inspirational values and ongoing contributions of the Sisters of St. Joseph. Never would I have appreciated the vast imprint Catholic Sisters have made throughout Europe, North America, and in my purview, Toronto, without this unique opportunity.

Regarding the theme of the 50th World Communications Day, Communications & Mercy: A Fruitful Encounter, the Vatican offers the following information: "At a time when our attention is often drawn to the polarized and judgmental nature…[of] social networks, the theme invokes the power of words and gestures to overcome misunderstandings, to heal memories and to build peace and harmony." This helps to put my role, and that of all "communicators for women religious", in perspective.

Communications professionals working for religious congregations have the opportunity to use our “powers for good”, to come up with creative and meaningful methods to promote the actions of religious women and men who act when others can’t or won’t, who help those who are suffering, who support animals and our planet, who promote peace & justice even when their own lives are at stake — all with the aim of making the world a better place to live.

As a communicator, I can’t think of a better way to spend my time.

By Lisa Tabachnick

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