Date of publication: 16/06/2023

On the first day of the training workshop for national presidents, the “Ozanam Prize for Journalism” was awarded.

Council General International

On June 16, the first edition of the Ozanam Journalism Award was presented to Paolo Ruffini. The director of L’Osservatore Romano, Andrea Monda, took part in the Assembly, and the first part of the Training Workshop for National Presidents was held.

Taking Frederic Ozanam as an example and to honour his memory as a writer and journalist for  various newspapers and magazines of the time, and   being aware of the importance of the media for evangelization, the International General Council created this award to recognize media professionals who are concerned with the publication of news related to charity, evangelical values, Vincentian virtues, ethics and social justice.

This year, in its first edition, the “Ozanam Prize for Journalism” was awarded to the Italian journalist PAOLO RUFFINI, elected by Pope Francis as Prefect of the “Dicastery for Communication” of the Holy See (the first layman in this position). This dicastery is responsible for the “Vatican News” Department, which encompasses radio, internet, television and the traditional newspaper L’Osservatore Romano. Ruffini has extensive professional experience in various media, especially press, radio and television.

In his speech, Paolo Ruffini stressed (among many other topics) the need for communication that highlights Christian values, that seeks the truth, that builds brotherhood and that keeps social isolation and falseness away from us. (His message will be published in full soon).

The award consists of a tree with a marble base and flowers made of citrine crystals, a kind of quartz taken from Brazilian caves, located in the central State of Goias. The tree represents Our Lord Jesus Christ, and the flowers signify the Good News of the Gospel. That is why the tree was chosen to illustrate this prize, in the same way that good journalists should spread the good news. Citrine quartz is a precious stone related to literature, thought, and intellectual production.

Assembly participants also enjoyed a visit from Andrea Monda, director of L’Osservatore Romano, who received an institutional plaque from 16th President General Renato Lima de Oliveira. In his speech, Andrea Monda gave words of support for the work of SSVP in the world, saying that L’Osservatore Romano makes sense if it can give a voice to institutions working for the most vulnerable.

Continuing with the morning session, the 1st Workshop for National Presidents was held. Several formations were offered through 2 discussion tables. The first, on the importance of cultivating spirituality and Vincentian formation to support the Conferences in order to serve in the best way possible the most needy people (the speakers were Fr. Andrés Motto and María Luisa Téllez).

The second discussion table focused on governance to facilitate transparency in all areas of the SSVP and to protect both the members of the Conferences and the people who need help and who are in a vulnerable situation. (The speakers were Claire Victory and Elaine Heyworth).

The discussions and training were truly dynamic and productive as the National Presidents representing many countries at this international Assembly in Rome were able to exchange views with the speakers and share ideas and best practices.