Vision: TO BE COMPANIONS OF JESUS BY BUILDING A JUST AND HUMANE SOCIETY THROUGH COMMUNICATION MINISTRY
Mission: Responding to the vision of the Province, we the Jesuits in Communication ministry focus our attention in promoting human values inherent in the Gospels among all peoples by responding to the media-related needs of our people and the Church viz., animation, education, training, services and collaboration with other media establishments, with greater emphasis on empowering the marginalized of the society.
A Short History:
Communication ministry in the province is the result of our search as a province to involve in new ways of communicating the message of the Gospel values to our people. Though in the initial stage the ministry was limited to the interest on few individuals, today it has been given due importance as we live in a media influenced world and modern technologies has opened new avenues for effective communication. In 1897, the Austrian Capuchins had already established ‘Bettiah Catholic Mission Press’, which printed and published numerous Catholic books and literatures to support the mission work for decades together, until it came to a closure in 1980s.
The contribution in this regard by the Patna Jesuits came with the establishment of ‘Sanjivan Press’ in 1948 by Fr. John Barrot, the launching of Sanjivan newspaper in 1950 and in 1960 the establishment of Prabhat Prakashan. Though Sanjivan Press had to be closed down due to various reasons, Prabhat Prakashan took the initiative to continue the work of publishing Catholic literature. Though the publishing of Sanjivan newspaper also had to be stopped in due course, ‘Sandesh’ the Hindi magazine, which was started in 1948 and published from Mission Press Bettiah, continues to be published from Prabhat Prakashan till date. The province also contributes its share in the special mission of the Holy Father to the Jesuits in the publishing the ‘Apostleship of Prayer’. Prabhat Prakashan took the responsibility of publishing the Hindi version of the same and even today this mission continues. In the 1960s Fr. Barret also began networking with Catholic editors in the country, and eventually founded the Indian Catholic Press Association (ICPA) in 1963.
As newer technologies developed and newer possibilities of communication were explored in electronic media, the audio-visual section of Navjyoti Niketan Catechetical Centre Patna, already functioning since 1968, was recognized as the Regional Audiovisual Institute of the Bihan Region (now Bijhan Region) on November 23, 1977 with its new director and independent audio-visual set-up to respond to the specific electronic media needs of the Church. Since financial viability to establish and run such an institute was a constraint to Navjyoti, the Bihan Regional Bishop’s Conference requested the Patna Jesuit province to see to the finances and personnel for the institute, which the province accepted as a new mission in the field of electronic media.
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1. Prabhat Prakashan Publication Centre: Patna Province was involved in publication ministry as early as 1948, when the province had established a full –fledged printing press called ‘Sanjivan Press.’ As the emergence of modern technologies, Sanjivan Press had to be closed down, but the province’s involvement in print media continued under the umbrella of Prabhat Prakashan. The province’s active involvement in print media of earlier times has to its credit being instrumental in giving birth to a Press Association- ‘Indian Catholic Press Association’.
Activities of Prabhat Prakashan:
Publications: Sandesh monthly magazine, Krit-Sankalpa, the Krus-vir leaflet, catechism books for schools, translated works and other publications for faith formation and value education
Religious books and articles made available: Catholic literatures and other value education literatures, religious articles (pictures, posters, statues, cross, rosary, etc.),
Courses/Seminar/Workshops: To promote literary aptitude among laity, to motivate potential writers for producing literary works geared towards faith formation/value education, social harmony and development, and encourage reading habits among school children
2. Ravi Bharati Audio-visual Institute: The media involvement of Navjyoti Niketan, the then Bihan regional pastoral center, was baptized with a new name- Ravi Bharati, on November 24, 1977. On 28th November 1988 the GB of Navjyoti Niketan decided to request the Patna Jesuit Society to take full responsibility for Ravi Bharati in terms of personnel and finances. In 1991, the Patna Jesuit province accepted this request and took over Ravi Bharati and Fr. (Dr.) Jacob Srampickal, SJ was appointed as the new Jesuit director of the institute.
Activities of Ravi Bharati:
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- Annual 3-day All Bihar Street Theater Festival
- Biannual Low-cost Film Festival
- Street Theater and Puppetry training
- Media education/awareness workshops
- Journalism and Leadership courses
- Summer Music Course for Catholic Children
- Sound production for Radio broadcasting
- Sunday School of Music and Dance
- Audio presentations on education, awareness, and catechetical themes
- Multi-media stage presentations on social, religious, and awareness themes
- Electronic journalism course (Radio Production)
- Communication courses for formees and others
Pioneers of the ministry:
- Fr. John Barrot: Established ‘Sanjivan Press’ in 1948. Fr. Barret also began networking with Catholic editors in the country, and eventually founded the Indian Catholic Press Association (ICPA) in 1963
- Fr. Sebastian Kenekattil: founding father of Ravi Bharati
- Fr. Jacob Srampickal: who gave Ravi Bharati a new orientation
1. Br. Sadhu Shilanand: Village evangelization through folk singing
2. Writers: Fr. Prakash Louis, Fr. Jose Kalapura, Fr. Norbet Menezes, Fr. Joseph Velamkunnel, Fr. Joseph Kunnumpuram, and few more Jesuits.
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Province Coordinator for communications:
Fr. K.C. Philip
Patna 800011, Bihar
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