Got this from your Senator Ronan Mullen:
As you may know, Catholic Comment was established in 2012 to serve the Church and the Media by providing confident, courteous and capable speakers for public discussions and debates. You may have seen or heard them on TV or radio along the way. Catholic Comment speakers aim to ‘shed light rather than heat’ and to foster genuine understanding. They communicate about the faith and express their sincere convictions in language people can understand.
There is already great demand for our speakers and there will be more, please God. We now wish to find a new panel of speakers to assist the work of those already involved.
You may be interested in becoming a Catholic Comment speaker or you may know somebody who would be good. Alternatively, you may wish to help us by keeping us in your prayers and/or making a donation.
Please read the message below from Petra Conroy and Sheena Darcy. Please also visit our website at www.CatholicComment.ie. There you can find the application form for our 2013 Speakers’ Panel and also subscribe to the Catholic Comment mailing list for an occasional update.
If you need any information please contact Sheena Darcy at firstname.lastname@example.org. Or feel free to email me back.
Beannacht Dé ort agus ar do mhuintir,
Catholic Comment is looking for more speakers.
Since Catholic Comment launched in June 2012, our speakers have taken part in over 90 media interviews, including on programmes such as The Late Late Show, Prime Time, The Frontline, Tonight with Vincent Browne, Ireland AM, Morning Edition, Drivetime, Nuacht a hAon, Newstalk Lunch Time, Evening Extra on BBC Radio Foyle and numerous local radio stations. We are now recruiting for our second panel of speakers and we need your help!
Following the model of Catholic Voices in the UK, Catholic Comment prepares ‘ordinary’ Catholics to present the mission and message of the Catholic Church in the public square, and assists the media in finding quality speakers when needed.
Would you – or someone you know – like to come on board as one of our speakers?
Who should apply?
You should – if you:
-subscribe to Catholic teaching and values: We’re looking for people with a genuine enthusiasm for the Catholic faith in all its aspects. This is not a ‘spin operation’: we will help you acquire the knowledge and skills to communicate clearly and competently in the media, but the intellectual and spiritual commitment to Catholic values must come from you.
- want to share the Catholic worldview in an open, confident, friendly and respectful way. As Catholics with a ‘Good News’ message, we never need to speak offensively or act defensively. Our hope is greater than any of the challenges we face.
-reflect on your faith and are willing to work to increase your knowledge of the Church’s history, structure, mission and teachings – particularly in areas of controversy.
-aim to improve your competence in public communication. Speaking well in a media context requires continual openness to learning.
-are willing to be available at short notice for media interviews, to assist the public understanding of issues relevant to Catholicism.
-are available for all three training weekends in Dublin – dates below.
So if you have a sincere commitment to Catholic teaching and values, are open to developing your media skills, have time for three residential Dublin-based training weekends (essential) and are available for speaking in the media in a positive and enthusiastic way, please get in touch with us today.
Last year we had over 80 applications and unfortunately we can only accept a much smaller number, so a short-list will be made and interviews carried out to ensure speakers come from a range of backgrounds and locations.
Please return completed forms to the same e-mail address by Friday 11th October 2013. Interviews will be held on Friday 1st and Saturday 2nd November in Dublin and those accepted for this round will be contacted shortly afterwards.
What if I can’t make all the training weekends?
In order to make sure that speakers on the panel receive all the necessary training, we have to ask that applicants are available to attend all three residential weekends:
- Friday evening 29th November to Sunday afternoon 1st December 2013
- Friday evening 24th January to Sunday afternoon 27th January 2014
- Friday evening 28th Febuary to Sunday afternoon 2nd March 2014-
The training will take place in the Dublin area.
Our experience is that full attendance is not only vital for understanding and assimilating the Catholic Comment / Catholic Voices approach to communication, but is also very rewarding and leads to a much greater degree of confidence. We’re conscious that this might be difficult for parents of young children and others – if you have concerns, get in touch and let us know.
Is there a cost?
While the training itself is offered free of charge, we ask participants to cover the costs of accommodation. Last year this was in the region of €160 per person for each weekend. We are happy to take this in instalments, and no-one will be turned away for want of funds – just let us know and we can come to an arrangement.
Stay in touch – we need your support!
If you can’t make all three weekends or aren’t selected to participate on the training this time, or are just interesting in supporting this initiative, please stay in touch. We’ll be keeping all those on our mailing list informed of developments and we’d be grateful if you would keep the project in your prayers.
We’re also dependent on donations to keep the project up and running, so we’d be grateful if you are in a position to make a donation. Standing Orders are particularly helpful as it means we have some regular income. Details on how to donate are on our website at www.catholiccomment.ie/support.html
Please spread the word
Finally – could we ask you to help spread the word? You could forward this email to someone you know who might be interested in applying or to anyone who runs a parish, diocesan or other group newsletter, website or Facebook page. Best of all, you could talk to people you know personally – nothing is as effective as personal contact.
With our sincere thanks for your support of this project
and best wishes
Petra Conroy, Sheena Darcy,