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At the heart of our communications is an experience of encounter, an experience that stirs our hearts. On this year’s 48th World Communications Day, celebrated on 25 May 2014, the Catholic Church in Australia will celebrate the stories of twelve individuals from dioceses across this Great South land of the Holy Spirit.

Each story, through a method of digital storytelling, is unique, blessed, and oftentimes a challenging story of life and faith. The stories are of women and men, lay and religious, young and old, ordinary and at the same time extraordinary, who share their joys, their sorrows and their struggles. They share pain and they share triumphs. Most importantly, they share of an encounter with Christ. Each story is told using digital media, as we embrace our online communication technologies and social media to spread our good news stories “to the ends of the earth” (Acts 1:8).

Communication at the Service of an Authentic Culture of Encounter is the 2014 theme promulgated by the Holy Father Pope Francis for this 48th World Communications Day. In his annual World Communications Day message, Pope Francis focuses on the person of Jesus Christ, and how communications can channel that relationship in many and diverse ways.

Stirring Hearts is a resource that we hope can be used in parishes, schools, young adult groups, agencies and organisations to reflect on the theme of World Communications Day 2014. It is a response to the Holy Father’s Message, which speaks of social networks as one way to experience the call to discover the beauty of faith and the beauty of encountering Christ. Pope Francis expressly says that in the area of communications “we need a Church capable of bringing warmth and of stirring hearts”.

Further information about the Stirring Hearts project, please contact the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference Communications Office at media@catholic.org.au or 02 6201 9841.

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