Even when physical proximity is impossible, Catholic communicators can use the media to reach out to people, help them experience the closeness of the church and invite them to follow Jesus more closely, the Vatican said.
"Come and see: Communicating, encountering people as and where they are" will be the theme for the 2021 celebration of World Communications Day, said the statement released Sept. 29. A papal message on the theme should be published on or around the Jan. 24 feast of St. Francis de Sales, patron saint of journalists.
"In a time that obliges us to social distance due to the pandemic, communication can make possible the closeness that is necessary to recognize what is essential and to understand truly the meaning of things," said the statement announcing the theme.
The pope's choice of the theme for the 2021 celebration, which will be May 16 in most dioceses, is drawn from Jesus' invitation to St. Philip in the Gospel of John.
"Come and see," the statement said, is an invitation "central to the Gospel" and to the ongoing proclamation of the Christian faith, a proclamation that is not just about words, but is "made up of looks, testimonies, experiences, encounters, closeness. In a word, life."
"The old saying 'God meets you where you are' can be a guide for those engaged in media or communications work in the church," the statement said. "In the call of the first disciples, with Jesus who went to encounter them and to invite them to follow him, we also see the invitation to use all media, in all their forms, to reach people as they are and where they live."