HOW TO TELL OUR STORY. Rome, Monday 10- Wednesday 12 June 2013.
A media apologetics workshop for Vatican officials and heads of Catholic organisations

This workshop will share insights, tips and principles from the Catholic Voices media project in the UK, which has transformed the Church's media presence in the UK and inspired similar projects in more than five countries. Catholic Voices ( was originally created for the papal visit in 2010, and is now present in the US, Ireland, Mexico, Poland and Spain. The project sees media interest in hot-button issues as opportunities to tell the Church's real story, and trains teams of speakers in the art of 'reframing' criticism of the Church in order to communicate in ways that are human and compelling.

This three-day workshop at the University of Santa Croce in Rome will teach highly effective methods for communicating the Church's teachings and policies, specifically in high-pressure debates and interviews in radio and TV studios. The workshop is a mixture of apologetics and media skills with generous opportunities for practising in a variety of 'real' situations. 

HOW TO TELL OUR STORY will teach the art of reframing contentious topics in live four-minute interviews or discussions on mainstream TV and radio programmes. 


The workshop will be given by the three experienced British communicators who founded and run Catholic Voices.

Dr Austen Ivereigh is a journalist, commentator and former adviser to the Archbishop of Westminster. He is the author of two books arising out of Catholic Voices: How To Defend the Faith Without Raising Your Voice (Our Sunday Visitor Press) and Catholic Voices: putting the Church's case in an era of 24-hour news (Darton, Longman & Todd). He is a popular speaker and trainer in the Church in the UK, and a well-known face on the BBC.

Jack Valero works in the Press Office of Opus Dei in the UK. In 2006 he worked with Austen Ivereigh coordinating a team of Catholics who commentated on stories arising out of the Da Vinci Code film. He is the author of a book about the Catholic Voices project, Who Know Where They Stand: Catholic Voices and the Papal Visit to the UK (Santa Croce 2011).

Kathleen Griffin is a former award-winning BBC radio 4 producer, journalist and writer. She now regularly trains other BBC journalists and is senior lecturer in Broadcast Media at Brighton University. She has written several books including The Forgiveness Formula- why letting go is good for you and how to make it happen (Simon and Schuster) and is the co-author of Catholic Voices: putting the Church’s case in an era of 24-hour news. 

They will share their experiences on how to explain the Church's positions to cultures dominated by an ethic of autonomy. 


The workshop is aimed at English-speaking officials. 

It will take news stories within three neuralgic areas: freedom of religion v. equality (eg the HHS Mandate in the US, and same-sex marriage proposals), authority and conscience (eg The Holy See’s position on the US female religious, or the Austrian Priests Initiative), and Church governance.

Participants will be given mock interviews about stories within these areas that are current at the time of the training. But the 'reframing' techniques will equip participants to speak on any future news stories.

10th June   9:00 – 17:00 
Welcome and introductions
Media-friendly, studio-ready and ego-free: the approach of Catholic Voices
Catholics and the ethic of autonomy
The Art of Reframing
Media skills
Expert briefing: religious freedom and equality
Reframing religious freedom
Interview role-plays 

11th June   9:00 – 17:00
The art of the radio interview
Radio interviews plus playback 
The art of the TV interview
TV interviews plus playback 

12th June   9:00 – 17:00
Expert briefing: Authority and Conscience.
Reframing authority and conscience stories
Interview role-plays 
Expert briefing: Church Governance
Reframing church governance
Interview role-plays
Summary and evaluation


Elegibility: The workshop is aimed at English-speaking Vatican officials and heads of Catholic organisations. The number of participants is limited, and so applications in advance are required.
Cost: 500 EURO
- Registration and participation in all the activities.
- Educational materials
- Lunch for 3 days
but excluding accommodation and other meals 

Application and registration can only be done online

Application deadline: May 30, 2013.
The organizing committee will evaluate the applications and respond to the applicants on or before 5 June 2013. 

Registration and Payment
Participants will be given instructions for payment procedures, upon being notified of admittance to the seminar.

School of Church Communications, Pontifical University of the Holy Cross
Via di San Girolamo della Carità 77-80
00186 Rome, Italy
Tel: [39] 06681641 (Reception desk)

Lodging is the responsibility of each participant. 
At the end of this page click on the attached file ("Lodging.pdf") for a list of other possible accommodation in Rome (hotels in the area, and other hospitality houses run by religious congregations with affordable prices).

ISCOM - Via dei Farnesi 91/a, 3º p - 00186 Roma
Tel: (39) 066468522
Email: - Website:


Lodging.pdf (32.04 KB)