Brooklyn Diocese Hosts Media Conference; Prepares For Pope Francis Arrival To U.S.

Our 2017 World Communications Day Catholic Media Conference is May 17 at the BRIC Arts Media House in Brooklyn. Learn More and Sign Up

On Wednesday, May 13th, the Diocese of Brooklyn will host its 24th Annual World Communications Day Catholic Media Conference at the New York Marriott at the Brooklyn Bridge, 333 Adams Street, Downtown Brooklyn. In preparation for Pope Francis’ first pastoral visit to the United States in September, the conference will focus on how to cover the Holy Father and provide insights on what to expect from his visit.

During the event, the diocese will honor Austen Ivereigh with the St. Francis DeSales Distinguished Communicator Award. He will also be the principal speaker for the occasion.

Austen Ivereigh, Ph.D., is a British writer, journalist, and commentator, and author of the internationally acclaimed biography The Great Reformer: Francis and the Making of a Radical Pope, published in the English-speaking world last Fall. He is also the co-founder and director of the international media project Catholic Voices, a project to train ordinary people to make the case for the Church on contentious issues in the media. His work also includes the books Faithful Citizens: a Practical Guide to Catholic Social Teaching and Community Organising, Catholic Voices: Putting the Case for the Church in the Era of 24-Hour News, and How to Defend the Faith Without Raising Your Voice.

“This past Thanksgiving, I read Austen Ivereigh’s The Great Reformer, and found it to be remarkably insightful into the life of Pope Francis,” said the Most Reverend Nicholas DiMarzio, Bishop of Brooklyn, who will present the award. “Austen’s recounting of the life of Jorge Bergoglio has been helpful to me in rethinking how to exercise my own episcopal and priestly ministry in the Diocese of Brooklyn.”

The program includes panels featuring David Gibson, award-winning journalist for Religion News Service and author of Finding Jesus; John Thavis, award-winning journalist and author of The Vatican Diaries; and communications leaders Donald Clemmer, USCCB; Angela Flood, Archdiocese of Washington; Kenneth Gavin, Archdiocese of Philadelphia; and Joseph Zwilling, Archdiocese of New York.

The conference will also include a live taping of In the Arena, the Catholic radio talk show of the cable network New Evangelization Television (NET TV). With host Monsignor Kieran Harrington, Vicar for Communications of the Diocese of Brooklyn, and guests Bishop DiMarzio, Commonweal Associate Editor Grant Gallicho, and The Tablet Editor Ed Wilkinson, the show will talk about this year’s theme for World Communications Day based on the family, as well as current events.

Produced by DeSales Media Group, the communications and technology arm of the Diocese of Brooklyn, the conference aims to bring together and connect print and digital journalists and executives from both secular and religious fields.

“We are pleased to host our annual media conference. The experience of sharing with our colleagues here in the Diocese of Brooklyn and abroad is always a meaningful opportunity to learn how best to communicate the love of the Gospel,” said Monsignor Harrington, who is also Chairman of DeSales Media Group.

Initiated in 1992, the diocesan celebration of World Communications Day came as a response to the official day established in 1967 by Pope Paul VI, in the wake of the Second Vatican Council. This annual celebration is meant to encourage the reflection of the new and modern means of social communications and how best to communicate the Church and its message through the use of press, motion pictures, radio, television and the Internet.

The keynote address will be live streamed on NET TV is a cable network featuring news and information with a Catholic point of view, and is available in the New York area on Cablevision, channel 30, and on Time Warner Cable, channel 97, and nationally on Verizon FiOS on Demand.

Registration for the conference will begin at 10 a.m. and the conference is scheduled to begin at 11 a.m. The event will conclude with a networking reception at 3:45 p.m. For more information about the conference program and timeline, please visit Reporters interested in covering the event are encouraged to RSVP by e-mail to