Archbishop Eamon Martin to open interactive seminar on faith in the digital world

27 May 2019

To mark World Communications Day you, or a representative, are invited to a half-day working seminar entitled: ‘Believers in the Digital World: Opportunities for Mission’.  Senator Joan Freeman will chair the seminar, Archbishop Eamon Martin will deliver its opening address and there will be contributions by faith representatives and digital experts as well as video input from students of Saint Peter’s College, Dunboyne, on the influence of social media in their lives.  Details:

Date and Time: Wednesday 29 May 2019, from 9:20am to 1:00pm.

Venue: Renehan Hall, Saint Patrick’s College, Maynooth followed by lunch in Pugin Hall.

Speakers and themes

  1. Brenda Drumm of the Catholic Communications Office on faith and evangelisation in the digital space.
  2. Detective Sergeant Mary McCormack on the extent of the challenge to society of online abuse and how to respond.
  3. Darren Butler of the Bishops’ Pastoral Response to Substance Misuse on the role of parishes in addressing internet addiction.
  4. Emma Tobin and Oisín Walsh reflect on the digital media experience of, and environment for, young people.


This roundtable interactive seminar marks World Communications Day 2019, which will be celebrated by the universal Church this weekend on Ascension Sunday, 2 June.  The event has been particularly informed by Pope Francis’ 2019 message for WCD We are members one of another (Eph 4,25).  From network community to human communities; by the Holy Father’s final address in February at the Vatican meeting on ‘The Protection of Minors in the Church’; and, by the post-synodal Apostolic Exhortation Christus Vivit To Young People and to the Entire People of God, which was published in March.

Senator Freeman has published the Children’s Digital Protection Bill 2018 to safeguard children from online exposure to harmful and age inappropriate content by placing responsibility for the distribution of such information on Internet service providers. 

In attendance

Bishops, priests, religious, diocesan communications officers, seminarians and representatives from the national seminary, students, second and third level chaplains, parish pastoral workers and volunteers, Catholic youth ministers and youth organisations, journalists, representatives of Catholic education, digital media experts and practitioners.

Notes to Editors

  • Archbishop Eamon Martinis Archbishop of Armagh and Apostolic Administrator of the Diocese of Dromore; Primate of All Ireland; President of the Irish Catholic Bishops’ Conference and chair of the Bishops’ Council for Communications.
  • Senator Joan Freeman chaired the Joint Oireachtas Committee on the Future of Mental Health Care and is a member of the Joint Oireachtas Committee on Children & Youth Affairs. 
  • World Communications Day is a worldwide celebration originally promoted in 1963, during the Second Vatican Council, with the publication of Inter Mirifica (Amongst the Wonderful) on the media of social communications.  WCD is marked annually on the Sunday before Pentecost Sunday, Ascension Sunday, which this year falls on 2 June.  The full text of the 2019 message of Pope Francis for WCD can be accessed here

For media contact: Catholic Communications Office Maynooth: Martin Long +353 (0) 86 172 7678 and Brenda Drumm +353 (0) 87 310 4444.