Banjarmasin diocese reflects on media, to meet the challenges of evangelization

THE seminar was attended by nuns, seminarians, high school and college students, the simple faithful. An opportunity for encounter and discussion, in a diocese that consists of only nine distant and isolated parishes. Sr. Mary Mikaella PRR describes the initiative as “a great inspiration”; for Sr. Stefani Resituta SFD it is a means to “connect with the modern world”.

Banjarmasin (AsiaNews) – A three-day workshop devoted to writing, photography and journalism to strengthen the field of social communications and respond to the challenges of evangelization through the new media. This was the initiative recently promoted by the Diocese of Banjarmasin, to strengthen contact among the faithful in the diocese who are geographically and socially “dispersed” throughout the whole South Kalimantan Province.

Unlike many other communities, such as the Diocese of Java, Banjarmasin is formed by “only” nine parishes; for example it takes up to seven hours from Banjarmasin to reach the church of the Hail Mary in Tanjung. For this reason, the leaders of the local Catholic community, after persistent requests from local priests, organized a seminar in the house of prayer Banjarbaru Sikhar, which involved 30 participants from throughout the diocese.


Gereja Paroki Bunda Maria Banjarbaru: Para peserta lokarya menulis, fotografi, jurnalistik dan layout berpose bersama di depan Gereja Paroki Banjarbaru, sekitar 36 km di luar Ibukota Provinsi Banjarmasin, Kalimantan Selatan. (Dok. Komsos Keuskupan Banjarmasin)

The group was made up of very different people: nuns, seminarians, high school and college students, and the simple faithful from remote areas as well as from the city. The seminar was an opportunity to meet and for discussion as well as promote further knowledge and the use of photography, the visual arts , writing and, in particular, the internet for preaching the Word of God.

Banjarmasin workshop

Sesi foto: Para peserta dan panitia lokakarya menulis, fotografi, jurnalistik dan layout bersama tim Sesawi.Net dari Jakarta dalam sebuah acara sesi foto bersama. Program acara ini dikemas dalam bentuk paparan, praktik dan latihan memproduksi berita cetak. Digagas oleh Komsos KWI bekerjasama dengan Komsos Keuskupan Banjarmasin dan manajemen Redaksi Majalah “Ventimiglia”. Lokakarya ini berlangsung di Rumah Retret Sikhar, Banjarbaru, Banjarmasin, Kalsel, 9-11 Mei 2014. (Dok. Komsos Banjarmasin/Dionisius Agus Puguh Santosa)

At the end of the seminar, the participants were able to interview Fr. Lingai , superior of the Missionaries of the Holy Family (MSF) in the province of Kalimantan and other priests – not to forget to mention Fr. Joseph R. Mohr MSF– who have dedicated their lives to the evangelization of the tribals. Others have recounted the experience of the nuns who work in novice formation. Some of these interviews were included in a special copy of the diocesan newspaper and, at a later posted on the website of the diocese.

Sister Maria Mikaella, of the parish of Hail Maria in Tanjung, said she is grateful to the Banjarmasin Commission for Social Communications “for this initiative a source of great inspiration.”

Other participants appreciated the character of “interconnection”, encounter and dialogue between the different realities of the diocese which are so distant and separated [at least geographically].

Sister Stefani Restituta SFD said it was a way to “connect with the modern world, where there are no limits of space and time in communications.”

Banjarmasin workshop 6

Bekerjasama dalam kelompok: Para peserta lintas profesi dan ‘generasi’ belajar bersama dalam kelompok untuk kemudian praktik memproduksi berita cetak. (Dok. Komsos Banjarmasin/Dionisius Agus Puguh Santosa)

Speaking to AsiaNews at the conclusion of the seminar Fr. Agus Doni Tupen MSF said that such a program will also be exercised to newly ordained priests as a project of their ongoing formation in getting to know the world of online media better as an effective tool to proclaim the Word of God.

The program was initially designed by Fr. Kamilus Pantus, the executice secretary of the Indonesian Bishops of Conference (KWI) Social Communication Commission (Komsos KWI) in his partnership with the local Banjarmasin Diocese’s Komsos and the diocese’s bimontly magazine Ventimiglia.

Key sources are Sesawi.Net, a catholic online news portal which is run by former Indonesian Jesuits.

Banjarmasin workshop 2

Lokakarya menulis, fotografi, jurnalistik dan layout bersama Sesawi.Net di Keuskupan Banjarmasin, 9-11 Mei 2014. (Dok. Komsos Keuskupan Banjarmasin)

Indonesia is the world’s most populous Muslim nation in the world (86 per cent, mostly Sunni). Although it upholds constitutional principles of basic personal freedoms (including religious freedom), it has increasingly become the scene of violence and abuse against minorities.

Christians represent 5.7 per cent of the population with Catholics just over 3 per cent. Hindus are 1.8 per cent; 3.4 per cent belong to other religions. Catholics are a small minority of about seven million people, or about 3 per cent of the country’s population (3.6 per cent in the Archdiocese of Jakarta).

Banjarmasin workshop 3

Sampai lewat tengah malam: Semangat peserta teruji nyata melalui kinerja tinggi mereka hingga bekerja mendesain produksi berita cetak melalui proses editing dan layout hingga Sabtu (10/11) lewat tengah malam. Kinerja tinggi ini masih berlanjut esok paginya, tepat mulai pukul 06.00 pagi hingga usai makan pagi. (Dok. Komsos Keuskupan Banjarmasin)

P.S.: The above reporting has been moderated from the original English and Italian version as previously published by AsiaNews in Italy.


Pentingnya perwajahan: Sesi presentasi mengenai filosofi pentingnya perwajahan media cetak bersama tim Sesawi.Net. (Dok. Komsos Keuskupan Banjarmasin)

Tautan versi bahasa Italia, Mandarin, dan Spanyol:

Mathias Hariyadi

Co-founder dan pemimin redaksi redaksi Sesawi.Net, portal berita katolik Indonesia.

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