By Mr. Charbel Raish
Director | Parousia
1: Your Apostolate
Our apostolate Parousia is dedicated to Evangelising and Faith Formation via a variety of media formats, live events, study groups and consulting for parishes and schools. We have been organising speaking tours for over a decade and recently have added to these tours localised bible study groups. We have weekly free podcasts, blog posts, videos and free resource giveaways. Our website is www.parousiamedia.com
2: Pandemic Impact
All of our events have been cancelled along with the bible study groups. All of the churches being closed for the lockdown meant no cds or booklets being sold from the parish stands around the country. We lost 75% of our total revenue. We were forced to pivot online and as a result, have organised zoom bible studies that were very popular with hundreds signing up. We offered the studies from www.ascensionpress.com and had such positive feedback for these studies. In addition to the bible studies, we also ramped up the live Parousia podcasts interviewing international and local guests a few times each week. Speakers like Scott Hahn, Christopher West, Jason Evert, Fr Don Calloway, Peter Kreeft and more we were cross-posting on their platforms too connecting Australian and American audiences and reaching tens of thousands of viewers. Financially the pandemic has been difficult but as far as reaching people online we have reached more people during this pandemic than the last ten years combined.
3: Priority Issues
Regular Catholic Faith Formation opportunities. We need to form our parishioners on the faith in various ways. We need live events, zoom meeting type studies, digital access to programs like formed.org and free articles, videos, podcasts on the faith. Catholics are hungry to connect with their fellow parishioners and deepen their faith via these powerful programs. Testimony nights, guest speakers, bible studies, resources are all needed to help with faith formation.
4: Plenary Proposal
If parishioners started to do regular faith formation evenings this will bring positive change in the community. Not only are people deepening their faith and relationship with God they are also connecting with their local parish community and bonding outside of Sunday Mass. We need to be thinking more about how to deepen our faith during the week from Monday to Saturday. We at Parousia are very happy to help and support in this area through linking up guest speakers, running virtual bible studies and assisting in promotions and resources.
5: Signs of Hope
The fact that we have access to the internet and people are taking advantage of it is great. More viewers for online masses, more zoom meetings than ever, online social media platforms are being utilised and personal family prayer may be on the increase. Families are bonding more since the lock down restrictions and so I hope by this pandemic we have a wake up call to appreciate life. We also can appreciate the many things we take for granted, sport, movies, transport, food, work the Church! I hope that as things open up again we are starting with a renewed spirit that appreciates Gods love for us and our outlook on life. What our role is in the church and getting involved more than ever to make a difference. I think those who do stay committed to their Catholic faith will be stronger than ever and we will see many who have fallen away turn to God again so there is a real opportunity to support new comers to church.
Submitted by: Mr. Charbel Raish
Director | Parousia