Would Saint Dominic have proclaimed the gospel the internet way ?
Pope Benedict began the week by speaking to the participants of the Pontifical Council for Social Communications Plenary Assembly which took place this week in the Vatican from February 28 to March 3, focusing on the theme ‘Language and Communication’ .
As Veronica Scarisbrick discovered , among the speakers there was a tall and communicative Dominican friar, Eric Salobir, who had a fascinating story to tell.
In Veronica's words the tale begins on Christmas Eve of 1948 when in the immediate aftermath of the Second World War a French Dominican by the name of Raymond Pichard realised the potential of what at the time was an all new media to proclaim the gospel: television. Bringing into the homes of the French people, on the flickering light of their brand new black and white tv screens , the Holy Mass celebrated that night in the Cathedral of Notre Dame. Breaking new ground with this first ever live broadcast Father Pichard set the seed for a far more complex project. One which evolved in 1949 when he obtained an hour and a half broadcasting slot on a national channel. And one which less than ten years later, it was 1954, took the name of : 'Le Jour du Seigneur', in English the Day of the Lord …
But beyond this story what Veronica found out was that over 60 years on , this project is still at the cutting edge of change as her communicative Dominican explains : "...new medias use new languages , it will be a bit technical but we have to discover which these new languages are ...to try to speak them..."
In the course of the interview Father Salobir also illustrates an all new interactive project timed to coincide with the date of the beatification of Pope John Paul II :"..we will launch a web tv 'Le Jour de Seigneur.com' .. to answer more directly to people's questions ...a priest will answer everyone with short and dynamic answers ..we will try to speak the language of young people ..."
Finally asked about his work in the footsteps of Saint Dominic Father Salobir affirms that if the founder of the order of preachers were alive today we would without doubt hear him speak to us from our tv screens....