Sunday, April 15, 2012

Jesuit communication guru dies

He had become critically ill and was hospitalized in Vienna ten days ago.


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By C.M. Paul
Kolkata:  Jesuit Father Jacob Srampickal, head of the department of Communication Studies and professor at Gregorian University Rome, yesterday passed away in Austria. He was 62.

He had become critically ill and was hospitalized in Vienna ten days ago while on a visit to Austria.

Fr Srampickal had headed several media organizations and taught communications in India and abroad.

In February, the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of India appointed the Patna Jesuit priest director of its media training institute NISCORT (national institute for social communication, research and training). He was expected to take charge in June 2012.

The Jesuit was the inspiration behind the institute and was a co-founder along with Fr. John Noronha, former director of Caritas India. He was the first dean of the institute based at Vaishali, a satellite town of Delhi in Uttar Pradesh state.

He has served on the ecumenical jury at international film festivals and has served as one of the consultants to the Pontifical Commission for Social Communications.

He was president of the Indian unit of UNDA/OCIC, the earlier version of Signis, the Church’s international association for social communication, for six years until 1998. He also headed its Asian wing for eight years starting 1993.

Fr Srampickal holds a doctorate in Development Communication from the University of Leeds, England, and four major diplomas in communications from India.

He has authored some 15 books and four more books on various themes in communications were in the press at the time of his death.

He launched several projects such as the New Delhi Video Festival for NGOs, national seminars on Church and media, online media training for poor countries from Rome, a weekly half hour radio program for migrants from Radio Vatican in Italian, an international bi-annual seminar on theology and communications from Rome.

Jacob also taught in 18 theological seminaries of India as visiting professor on the theme of “why communications for priests and the Catholic Church?”

Jacob had a stroke in September 2011 while he was in India but recovered in what he claimed was a miracle. He went back to Rome in four months.
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Let us pray for Jacob sj and for NISCORT
Devasia sj


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