Of course, the most important fact about this day is that it is Mother’s Day. Happy Mother’s Day to all moms, including my own mom in heaven and my wonderful wife Eileen, who is the world’s best mom to our outstanding daughter, for whom we’re lobbying to establish a tradition called Daughter’s Day.
But I want to wish all of you a Happy World Communications Day. This day of remembrance and edification was established 52 years ago by the Catholic Church during Vatican Council II. Its existence on the Sunday before Pentecost every year–and the tradition of annual papal message that accompanies it –are statements of the importance the Church gives to varied means and media of cultural expression.
This year’s message from Pope Francis found special resonance with me because it speaks from his heart about the need to renew the communication of news and the conversations of trust and common cause so necessary for our society’s future. I thought it was a great touch that the message ended with the Pope’s own paraphrase of, or sequel to, the beloved “Peace Prayer of Saint Francis.” I decided to reflect in a structured way on this “Peace Prayer version 2.0,” and my thoughts grew into a book I am preparing to share with a larger audience. The book’s working title is Headlines That Hurt: Do We Have a Prayer? The Pope’s Words of Hope for Journalism.
As my World Communications Day gift to all of the good folks whom I welcome as readers of my OnWord blog and as my connections on LinkedIn, I offer a preview of the book. Please go this site’s navbar and click on “Headlines That Hurt.” Please take a look at the (copyright-protected) thoughts and send me your feedback at firstname.lastname@example.org. Perhaps you’ll also consider doing those “friend” and “like” and “follow” and “connect” favors to help me market the finalized book.
When Headlines That Hurt comes out later this month, probably first as an e-book, please consider buying it. I’ll welcome your support if indeed you think, in the spirit of Mother’s Day, my reflections can help give birth to big-picture, faith-and-reason-based discussions about a renewal of journalism, words, conversation, truthfulness and trust in our society. When you click for the preview, don’t worry about this book being too heady or ambitious. As the accompanying photo suggests, I’m striving for a sense of Franciscan joy and keeping it light-hearted.