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Applications invited for the 2nd Catholic Comment Speakers' Panel
Catholic Comment has been in operation just over one year and is now aiming to expand its team of speakers.
Applications welcome up to Friday 11th October 2013: Application Form for Catholic Comment Speakers' Panel 2013
Further details below:
The first fifteen Catholic Comment speakers were selected from applicants from all over Ireland and included students, newly married, parents and grandparents. In spring 2012 they participated in three residential weekends where they heard about what to expect in a television or radio studio - and about an exciting new approach to communications. Following the model of Catholic Voices in the UK, speakers learn to see even apparently 'bad news' stories as an opportunity to throw some light on the mission and message of the Catholic Church.
"By remaining positive and avoiding heated polemic, we are better able to offer a witness of what the Catholic faith means and the positive vision it offers to society and to every man, woman and child as individuals," explains Petra Conroy, Project Coordinator. "Catholics can see the secular media as an opportunity to evangelise - as a way of reaching out to people to help them better connect with the Gospel - with Jesus Christ. People sometimes misunderstand key aspects of what the Church says about important issues: we can help clarify, showing how the dignity of every person is at the heart of what the Church is about."
The first panel of speakers include a graduate of journalism and visual media, an engineer, a panel beater, secondary and primary school teachers, a parish pastoral worker and a barrister - and all are enthusiastic about "giving reasons for the hope that is within us."
Maura Garrihy is 23 years old and is about to begin a new role as Director of Youth Ministry in Galway Diocese. "Catholic Comment has given me the tools to dialogue effectively, and appropriately, about our faith and really try and win hearts as a result - and not arguments! It is a very real way of answering the call to share our faith. Not only have I learned how to communicate in the media but it's also come in very useful for conversations with friends and family too! ''
Maura Garrihy and Catriona Curran talk about the newly elected Pope Francis on TV3's Ireland AM in March.
Applications for the second panel of speakers will be accepted up to Friday 11th October 2013 and the three training weekends will be held in the Dublin area between November 2013 and February 2014. "We're looking for people who are natural communicators, are enthuastic about the Catholic faith in all it aspects, and who are willing to keep up to date with both media stories and with Church teaching, especially on those controversial issues which often end up in the media - issues that people can feel very strongly about because they relate to questions of life and death and of what it means to be a human being," Petra explains.
Application forms are available from firstname.lastname@example.org or you can download it as a Word document here: