Bye bye Board
On 18 May the Provincial met the Board of Jesuit Communications to receive their final report. They expect to be disbanded this summer. There could be no surer sign of health in a board than that it meets, does a job, submits a report and hands in its chips. What effect did the board have? At a general level it brought new perspectives and experience to the management of our organs of communication, both on line and on paper. More concretely, it played a key role in evaluating the health of the Messenger Office, and in renewing its management. The final shape of the board was: Tom Carey (Chair), Paul Andrews SJ (Sec.), Celine Danaher, Gary Joyce, John Looby SJ, Caroline Lynch, Fergus O’Donoghue SJ, Wally Young. Earlier members had been Paddy Carberry SJ (replaced by Paul Andrews), John Callanan SJ (Fergus O’Donoghue) and Edmond Grace SJ (John Looby). The Board launched Fergus O’Donoghue on his blogging career, as an experiment in interactive communication. It defined a digital media strategy for the Irish Jesuits. In addition its members acted as a sort of pebble-in-the-oyster for our communications people, planting itches that would, one hopes, produce pearls. These skilled and experienced friends, who did not even draw expenses, much less a salary (their only tangible reward was a dinner two years ago and a final dinner next month), who regularly assembled in our board room before their spouses sat down to breakfast, and whose voices in conference seldom rose above the conversational level, deserve the lasting gratitude of the Irish Jesuits.