Communications Office

Communications Office

Communication and participation are two sides of the same coin which we engage in each time we gather as body of Christ for the celebration of the sacraments. Hence, the pattern of pastoral communication practised in our diocese is participatory and interactive. Participation and interaction, which necessitate respect, listening and trust, help to reduce the pastoral and administrative distance among the Bishop, priests, religious and the laity; thus bridging the space between teachers and learners, leaders and followers as well as facilitates a more equitable exchange of ideas, knowledge and experiences. The need to listen is not limited to any group of Christ’s faithful people in our diocese, because the leaders and the led are no longer collaborators, but co-responsible in the pastoral and evangelization mandate. It involves the shepherd as well as the flock, the poor as well as the rich, the planners and administrators as well as their targets to work together for a common aim, which is salvation of the world. It is our collective responsibility!

Evangelization through Participation in the Media.

According to Pope Paul VI, “… evangelizing is in fact the grace and vocation proper to the Church, her deepest identity. She exists in order to evangelize ,… ” (Evangelii Nuntiandi, 14). Thus the church in Zaria diocese participates in the use of modern media of communication to carry out this mandate of the Universal Church. For “The Church would feel guilty before the Lord if she did not utilize these powerful means that human skill is daily rendering more perfect. It is through them that she proclaims ‘from the housetops’ the message of which she is the depositary” (Evangelii Nuntiandi, 45).

To be an Interactive Church Community.

In her formal reflections, the Church has long acknowledged that communication media have a role in fostering community and in spreading the Gospel: “The media of social communication can contribute a great deal to human unity” (Communio et Progressio, 9). Hence, communication and community lie at the heart of the Church’s mission because God’s self- revelation draws every believer into the faith community. After the family, people experience the Church first in the local parish, where bonds of charity begin and where the worshiping community takes shape. This occurs through communication: the sharing of faith, the preaching of the Word, the celebration of the Sacraments, service to the poor and marginalized, and the union of the larger body.

Hence, the church in Zaria diocese seeks through her communication endeavours to make real the desire for communion, the formation of community, the proclamation of God’s word, and the establishment of God’s family here on earth. The diocese recognizes that modern society increasingly defines itself by communication- newspapers, magazines, books, telecommunications, internet, radio, television, film, electronic mail, social media- and, mindful of Christ’s command that she preach the Gospel to the ends of the earth (Mt 28:19), asks once again how she can image and echo God in this digital world.

Communication Activities in the Diocese

The diocesan communication activities is headed by the director of communications, Rev. Fr. Peter Ogwuche  ( with office located within the premises of St. Joseph’s Minor Seminar, Basawa Road, Palladan, Zaria. The office is opened 10:00am – 12:00pm, Mondays to Fridays. The diocese has a diocesan newspaper, Olivebranch, which is published monthly; a small audio/video editing suite and a diocesan website, which contains information about the diocese and by means of which the diocese is present in the cyber world even as she exists in real space. A good number of Catholics in Zaria diocese work in communication-related areas, while a few others work directly for the church’s communication efforts. These include secular media practitioners, experts who lecture at various tertiary institutions in the diocese, staff of the diocesan communication office and members of the diocesan communication committee.

The pastoral communication activities in  Zaria diocese recognize that it is in our parishes that the Church most directly communicates with her people, especially through God’s word proclaimed in the liturgy and celebrated in the Sacraments, and

through a variety of catechetical and educational programmes. In this context of pastoral activities, church communication supports the mission of the Universal Church in Zaria diocese by preaching Christ’s message through participation in media both locally and nationally. This overarching objective leads to other more specific actions: Evangelizing, influencing the values, judgments and actions of citizens of Zaria; telling the church’s story, by interpreting events and structures of the world from the church’s point of view; protecting the communication environment; media education; pastoral outreach and dialogue with media practitioners; and supporting one another in a ministry of communication.

The Audience of Our Pastoral Communication Plan 

The communication of the church in Zaria diocese targets two audiences: Catholics, both active and inactive, and the general public. Each of these divides into a number of more specific audiences. The active-Catholic audience consists of various groupings of Catholics, for example, diverse language groups, the young and old, married and single, rural and urban, and so on. The inactive Catholic audience consists of those baptized who do not participate in the life of the Church as they should and those alienated from the Church due to one reason or the other. The general public similarly consists of many groups; those of particular interest to the Church are children, young people, various cultural groups, the marginalized, the homeless and nonbelievers. In addition, the Church seeks to reach elected and appointed government officials, communication and academic professionals, and those who influence public opinion through editorial comments, news programming and other media decision making.