An attentive gaze will not have missed the “renewed” logo featured on our website, marking an important anniversary. In fact, exactly thirty years ago, January 13 1989, was published the first issue of the then weekly news service, SIR. Our readers must have already identified a trait of innovation that blends the past and the present, paving the way to future prospects. First of all the SIR logo: a combination of fonts used in the two logos that characterised the life of this information tool.
The first was used in the 1980s and in the early 1990s; the second from the 1990s until today. We merged them in a symbolic union that projects us towards the future. It’s not mere aesthetics but a commitment to recover our roots with
“satisfaction and responsibility.”
These two feelings have characterised our news service since the onset. This brings us to the second element that we inserted in the logo: 30 years, blended with the acronym SIR (- Servizio Informazione Religiosa), highlighting the festive dimension.
Thirty years in the gradual development of a tool with a well-defined slogan: every achievement, every initiative,
“should never be a point of arrival, but only a point of departure.”
It was reiterated on many occasions by one of the founding fathers, Msgr. Giuseppe Cacciami, almost as if to indicate it as a mantra to be followed. That’s how it has been since 1988.
Perhaps it would be worthwhile recalling some significant dates: on April 15 1988 the Religious Information Society was created. However, planning and organizational steps began in 1987. Some preliminary issues were released, the first venturesome issue was daringly printed on September 29 1988 in the city of Ancona during a conference of diocesan weeklies to gather initial feedback from participants. The “zero issue” was released on October 25 1988, featuring the reflection of the President of the Society Msgr. Cacciami:
“The most innovative aspect of this initiative was this Religious Information Service (news, facts, comments, breaking news) for Italian daily news journalists reporting on events attaining to the religious sphere, for editors-in-chief working in this sector in specialized periodicals and within general information media outlets.”
Given this target (along with the service to diocesan weeklies) SIR had to face the challenge of channelling information released by -and on – the Italian Church to national and Catholic news media. This mission, adopted with responsibility, gained increasing space, although at the beginning it was hard to identify the specific aspects and the potentials of a “tool” such as a news agency, with its rules, its timeframe, its readership. The universal Church is the scenario of this professional commitment where SIR performs its service of attentive listening, of thought and of reporting on the Church in her local and national dimensions, and in her ability to be present in history with love.
Thirty years ago a professional venture was set in motion, where SIR also acted as the intersection of a communication service that extended from local realities to the centre and from the centre to local level thanks to an extensive network of diocesan weeklies involved as recipients and transmitters. We are proud to say that to date there is no other form of communicative reciprocity that is as rich in life stories, so different and so united at the same time, capable of blending together, in a generative way, thoughts, sensitivities and competences. In a word: synodal.
For this very reason our feelings can be no other than feelings of “satisfaction and responsibility.” Just as it was 30 years ago, when an “innovative project” was first conceived. In the coming months we will have the opportunity to celebrate this anniversary as it deserves, with various initiatives and a few technological innovations. For the time being, every day is for us a new “point of departure.”