Meet the new Director of Communications

On 1 July, Fr Chukwuyenum Afiawari officially began his new position as the Director of the Communications Office at the General Curia in Rome. This pivotal role involves the dissemination of information, fostering connections and ensuring effective communication with the Society. Fr Afiawari succeeds Fr John Dardis, who held this role for an impressive 6-year tenure. As the new custodian of this important office, Fr Afiawari brings new perspectives and innovative ideas. We spoke with him about his new responsibilities.

Who are you?

My name is Chukwuyenum Afiawari, but I prefer to be called “Chuks”. I am a Jesuit of the North-West Africa Province (ANW) and I entered into the Society in 1987. After my formation, I have served in several roles including Director of Novices, Regional Secretary for Africa and Madagascar, Rector of Arrupe Jesuit University in Zimbabwe and more recently, Provincial of the ANW Province. I have just taken up office as Director of Communications at the Communications Office of the General Curia in Rome.

What role does communication play in the Society of Jesus?

Communication is life! To live is to communicate! The person, life and mission of Jesus is communication per excellence. Without communication, it would be extremely difficult, if not impossible, to continue sharing the Good News of the Kingdom of God. St Ignatius was very keen about, and encouraging of, communication. The about 7,000 letters he wrote during his lifetime attest to this. The Communications Office of the General Curia will stay along this path, making essential adjustments to fit to our contemporary reality.

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What strategies will you employ to foster communication within the Society?

General Congregation (GC) 36 called the Society to continue the process of reviewing and updating our communications strategy as an integral part of the renewal of the central governance of the Apostolic Body of the Society. In the face of our fast-evolving clime of technological and other changes, the Communications team at the General Curia, working closely with the six Conference Delegates of Communication - and an invaluable input from the Strategy Group - hopes to come up with an apostolic/strategic framework for communications for the Society of Jesus. This is, of course, subject to the approval of Father General.

How do you plan to collaborate with other offices/secretariats within the Society? Are there any cross-functional initiatives you envision?

All sectors of the General Curia work to serve the mission of Father General in his universal governance of the Society. The more seamlessly and “synodally” we work together, the better the service we render. Collaboration, discernment and networking are important elements of our way of proceeding stressed by GC 36. I trust that we can further embody these aspects of our work in the Communications Office, with cross-sectoral initiatives in collaboration with the various arms of the Curia.

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What steps will you take to engage with younger generations and make Jesuit communications relevant to them?

Journeying with the youth in thecreation of a hope-filled future is one of the four integrated pillars of the Society’s current Universal Apostolic Preferences (UAPs). Through engaging on essential and relevant social media platforms where millions of young people congregate, the Communications Office will continue to be creatively present to the youth. Initiatives like ‘MAGIS Futures’ also present the Communications Office with opportunities for more structured contact with young people.

What message would you like to pass across as the new Director of Communications?

The Communications Office of the General Curia is available and ready to serve the mission of the central government of the Society. We are open to receiving new ideas! Please share your stories, tell your stories. We are here to help you do so, for the greater glory of God.

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Posted by Communications Office - Editor in Curia Generalizia
Communications Office
The Communications Office of the General Curia publishes news of international scope on the central government of the Society of Jesus and on the commitments of the Jesuits and their partners. It also handles media relations.

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