WINDSOR TERRACE — Calling him a “true leader in journalism,” Bishop Nicholas DiMarzio presented the St. Francis de Sales Distinguished Communicator Award to political journalist Errol Louis.
Bishop DiMarzio bestowed the award, which recognizes an individual who has made exemplary contributions in the communications field, during a virtual event on May 26.
DeSales Media Group, the parent company of The Tablet and NET-TV, celebrated the 54th Annual World Communications Day (WCD) on Wednesday, May 26. Pope Francis chose ‘Come and See’ as this year’s theme, to “serve as an inspiration for all communication that strives to be clear and honest, in the press, on the internet, in the Church’s daily preaching, and in political or social communication.”
“World Communications Day [was] established by the Holy See to annually shine light on calls to action found in our gospel — which are to support our fellow citizens in need, protect the Earth that God has created and given us, and to love and respect our neighbors,” Bishop DiMarzio said. “Erroll Louis always has continued to speak out on such issues [and] I applaud him for his contributions that have advanced this message.”
Louis is the political anchor of Spectrum News NY1, where he hosts “Inside City Hall,” a nightly prime-time show that focuses on New York politics, and has reported on various humanitarian issues that face those living in the Diocese of Brooklyn and across New York City.
Upon accepting the award, Louis noted that the media, as well as parish pastors and academy principals attending the virtual event, have a big communications task ahead of them.
“We’ve had a very tough time coming out of this pandemic — the tragic loss of life, lost jobs, lost hope, lost dignity,” Louis said. “I think it’s incumbent on all of us to use our skills to the best of our ability to help show people some of the paths as we move forward.”
Also at the event, Sherry Weddell gave the keynote address. Weddell, co-founder of the Catherine of Siena Institute and best-selling author of “Forming Intentional Disciples: The Path to Knowing and Following Jesus.” She explored ways in which deep listening and faith conversations can change the course of people’s lives.
“You and I,” Weddell said, “can go out there and be instruments of building trust and helping open them to faith and to God.”
The diocesan observance of WCD followed Pope Francis’ Jan. 23 announcement of this year’s theme for the event: “Come and See’ — Communicating by Encountering People Where and as They Are.” The Holy See explained that “Come and See” comes from Jesus’ invitation to St. Philip in the Gospel of John.
William Maier, chief executive officer at DeSales Media, said this year’s theme describes the mission of ministry at DeSales, which is done through its content, media outlets, and communications platforms as well as through technology tools used by schools and parishes.
“At DeSales, the purpose of all of our content and media reach is to inspire people to take the next steps in their formation. But, that’s only the first step,” Maier said. “The real renewal happens where the rubber hits the road. And that’s with all of you.”
Currents News anchor Christine Persichette spoke about how DeSales Media directly embodies the theme of “Come and See” through the craft of journalism and storytelling.
DeSales Media’s outlets have been sharing important and relevant news happening in the Diocese of Brooklyn since the pandemic began — immediately covering the churches when pastors were told they had to close as well as the fight the diocese brought to the courts in the fall to get parishioners back in the pews.
They have also kept readers and viewers aware of how local Catholic schools remained open during the pandemic to the latest updates regarding churches’ reopening capacities.
“I interview people from dioceses all over the country, even the world, and oftentimes they’ll comment on how great it is that the Diocese of Brooklyn has this news station. But DeSales isn’t just Current News — we keep people informed via all platforms,” Persichette said. “Let us tell ‘your’ good news.”