Catholic Voices

Contact
information

Office/person in charge:
Jack Valero Director and Co-founder

Address:
Cuckoo Hill Farm. Cuckoo Hill, Pinner, HA5 2BB. UK

Email address:
jack.valero@catholicvoices.org.uk

Website/social media:

Catholic Voices trains Catholics, mostly ordinary lay people but also sometimes priests and bishops, to tell the Church’s story in the media, above all in news programs and debates on TV and radio. It started in 2010 with the training of a first group of lay people in London in preparation for the visit of Pope Benedict XVI to Britain. Following the success of the initiative, the project has expanded since then to other parts of the UK and to over 20 other countries around the world.

What is it?

What is this initiative about?

Catholic Voices trains Catholics, mostly ordinary lay people but also sometimes priests and bishops, to tell the Church’s story in the media, above all in news programs and debates on TV and radio. It started in 2010 with the training of a first group of lay people in London in preparation for the visit of Pope Benedict XVI to Britain. Following the success of the initiative, the project has expanded since then to other parts of the UK and to over 20 other countries around the world.

How does it help?

In what way does this initiative enhance the formation of the laity?

Many Catholics want to communicate what they have in their heart and in which they fervently believe but they often don’t know how to speak about those things in a way that others far away can understand what they are saying. Also, they don’t know how to get into media and be available for news programmes. This project tries to tackle both these things: a service to the Church by training lay people, and a service to the media by making Catholics available to it.

Why is it important?

Why is this initiative important for the training and advancement of the laity in your country?

This project involves the formation of lay people in several areas: good ways to communicate the faith so that we can be heard and understood, media training to get our messages across effectively, etc.

How did it start

How was this initiative developed?

The project was born to prepare lay Catholics to speak during the visit of Pope Benedict XVI to Britain in September 2010 to beatify Cardinal Newman. The visit became controversial as some influential people opposed it. While some Catholics were a bit frightened by the hostility, we felt that this would create a good opportunity to communicate our messages if there were people prepared to speak, so we selected a group of 25 lay Catholics and trained them to speak in news programmes.

Benefits

Does it benefit the laity on a national or local level?

It benefits the laity at a national level in several nations now.

It gives the laity the preparation they need to speak about controversial issues of the Church or of moral issues, in a way that connects with listeners and helps them to understand the message.

Means and funding

Who funds the initiative? What is needed to launch this initiative?

Catholic Voices is funded by donations of individuals and Catholic institutions in the countries where it has been set up. Each country group is financially independent. Some groups offer talks in parishes and schools and make a charge for these activities. This also adds to the income for the group.

Learn more

Where can people learn more about this initiative?

They can visit the website, contact the local coordinator in their country, or contact Jack Valero, global coordinator for countries where there is as yet no group established.

Countries involved

Does this initiative exist in other countries?

English: UK, Ireland, USA, Canada, Trinidad and Tobago, Malta

Spanish: Chile, Argentina, Uruguay, Bolivia, Colombia, Peru, Dominican Republic

Other languages: France, Italy, Switzerland, Poland, Czech Republic, Lithuania, Sweden

If possible, we kindly ask that you provide a brief report on the initiative’s progress, statistics, accomplishments, and any other information worth noting, as well as any photos representing the initiative. 

How to start?

How can this initiative be implemented in other countries?

It first needs a group of 2 or 3 interested people who can set up the project in their city. They should between them cover the areas of management, finance and fundraising, access to Church groups and the hierarchy, and access to media. There are then 3 conditions to be able to start the process: to have the permission of the local bishop or bishops conference, to have a positive view of the media and the Church, and to include people from many different spiritualities and approaches in the Church. The interested people should make contact with Jack Valero (Global coordinator) to discuss next steps.


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