The Diocese of Trenton joins with other dioceses across the country in encouraging support for the annual Catholic Communication Campaign collection slated for the weekend of May 12-13.

Pope Francis' World Communications Day message

The collection, sponsored by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, allows Catholics an opportunity to support evangelization of the Gospel message through technology and social media by supporting the production and publishing of high-quality Catholic content via the internet, television, radio and print. Half of the proceeds collected remain in the Diocese, while half is forwarded to the USCCB’s Catholic Communication Campaign office.

In the Diocese of Trenton, funds are used to support the work of the diocesan Department of Multimedia Production. Marianne Hartman, department director, explained the local projects funded in part by the collection include the Spanish language television program “Cristo Para Todos; the “Catching the Word” podcast with weekly reflections on Sunday Scripture by Father Garry Koch, pastor of St. Benedict Parish, Holmdel, featuring occasional audio messages and homilies from Bishop David M. O’Connell, C.M.; the production of special video messages from Bishop O’Connell and news stories, and videotaping and livestreaming major diocesan events such as the ordination of priests and deacons.

In 2017, parishes in the Diocese contributed a total of $105,930.76 for the CCC. Of that amount, $52.965.38 was remitted to the USCCB, representing 50 percent of the total parish collections. The remaining $52.965.38 was retained by the Diocese in support of the Department of  Multimedia Production.

In his message for the 52nd World Communications Day, which was Jan. 24, Pope Francis explored this year’s theme, “Fake news and journalism for peace,” stating, “Fake news is a sign of intolerant and hypersensitive attitudes, and leads only to the spread of arrogance and hatred.” He noted that fake news gets attention “by appealing to stereotypes and common social prejudices, and exploiting instantaneous emotions like anxiety, contempt, anger and frustration.”

The Pope identified the serpent in the Garden of Eden as the first to employ fake news by saying Eve would not die if she ate the fruit of the forbidden tree, and shows “there is no such thing as harmless disinformation; on the contrary, trusting in falsehood can have dire consequences.”