Church and religion
Communicators offer with simplicity other ways to live: SIGNIS Ecclesiastical Assistant message for January
Veteran Catholic Sri Lankan journalist dies at 85
Colombo, January, 12th, 2018 (UCAN). Sri Lanka is mourning the death of a respected Catholic journalist and author who served the country’s daily English-language newspapers, Catholic weeklies and international media. Hector Welgampola served as editor of the two Colombo-based Catholic weeklies in Sri Lanka, the English-language Messenger and Sinhalese-language Gnanartha Pradeepaya (lamp of wisdom). He was a senior columnist for the country’s Daily Mirror and Sunday Times. He served as the very first secretary to the Federation of Asian Bishops’ Conference Office for Social Communications and was the editor of the South Asian Region News Bulletin. He served as executive editor of UCA News from 1987 until his retirement in 2001. He also compiled the Asian Church Glossary and Stylebook and became the author of several local books. Welgampola, 85, died early Jan. 6 in Brisbane, Australia. “He joined the Colombo Catholic Press as a sub-editor and became an accomplished journalist. He then held the post of chief editor of both the weeklies,” said Bishop Oswald Gomis, Emeritus Archbishop of Colombo. “Hector was an excellent writer both in English and Sinhalese. Having his own inimitable style, he wrote a few books in Sinhalese. Having served for many years in the field of active journalism, he retired and continued as a freelance journalist until recently,” said Bishop Gomis. “He spent his retirement together with his wife, children and grandchildren in Australia.” Father Lal Pushpadewa Fernando, national director of the Catholic Center for Social Communications, said Welgampola had been always a man of God, a God-fearing man who really loved the Catholic Church. “He started his career as a young teacher and joined the Colombo Catholic Press as a sub-editor,” said Father Fernando. Manush Samaranayake, a young journalist who worked with Welgampola, said the veteran had trained a group of young journalists and often started work at 3am. “He was a teacher and inspiration to many young journalists and he served as a media man for professing the truth,” said Samaranayake, a Buddhist.
Father Piero Gheddo, one of the Church’s great media missionaries, dies at 88
Rome, January, 5th, 2018 (CRUX). One of the Church’s great media missionaries of the 20th century, Father Piero Gheddo, died last month at the age of 88. Gheddo died on Dec. 20, after more than half a century of work in Catholic media apostolates. An Italian member of the Pontifical Institute for Foreign Missions (PIME), Gheddo was the editor of missionary magazines, a founder of communications agencies, and a prolific author, whose books were translated into 30 languages. Born in 1929 in Tronzano Vercellese, in the Piedmont region of Italy, he entered the Pontifical Institute for Foreign Missions in 1942, hoping to follow a vocation to foreign missionary work among non-Christians. He was ordained a priest in 1953, and hoped to be sent as a missionary to India. Instead, his superiors gave him a post in the missionary media. In 1959, he was appointed editor-in-chief of the magazine Le Missioni Cattoliche. He took part in the Second Vatican Council while working for the Vatican newspaper L’Osservatore Romano, and helped to draft Ad Gentes, the Second Vatican Council’s decree on missionary work. He traveled the world as a journalist and media missionary. In Brazil, he became a friend to Archbishop Helder Camara, supporting his work for the poor. Though Camara was an advocate of liberation theology, Gheddo opposed that movement, and the Marxist drift he believed that some Latin American theologians had taken. Gheddo published stories and articles to the end.