Lenten Pilgrimage Wrap Up, New EWTN Program, A Men’s Conference & More


Lenten Pilgrimage Wrap Up

Christ Has Risen! Yes, He has truly risen indeed! We are now in the Easter Season and it’s a very joyous season for obvious reasons. Last month we were preparing for the last two weeks of Lent with the Lenten pilgrimage, which concluded on Easter Sunday morning. We were blessed to have Steve Ray as the MC and Virtual Pilgrimage Guide. Steve has travelled to the Holy Land over 180 times and has a wealth of knowledge and experience of the region where Jesus Himself walked and carried His cross. Steve gave a reflection each day on a different station of the cross leading up to Easter Sunday. He also added a bonus station for the resurrection. It was great to also have input from other presenters, as they gave very beautiful reflections on the Lenten season in general, which added to the whole experience. Over 3,000 people participated in the event, which was a great blessing. There were also dozens of countries around the world taking part, making these virtual events truly global. Access was free throughout the pilgrimage and, now that the ‘live’ phase is complete, you can purchase access to own the videos for a one-off cost of $19.99AUD. Alternatively, for those who are monthly donors and subscribers, you will have access to this pilgrimage automatically added to the Parousia on Demand platform for FREE! Thanks to everyone who made this pilgrimage possible. Please pray for us as we want to keep offering these spiritual pilgrimages online for years to come.

Brand New Show on EWTN – ‘Catholic Sphere’

I was privileged to be invited onto the brand new series by EWTN ‘The Catholic Sphere’, as a guest to represent Australia. This is a brand new show, hosted by Brian Patrick, which aims to bring together international guests from around the world to share what is happening in the local church of each region. Each week, different countries are represented. I shared about the year Australians have had with bushfires, floods and the pandemic last year that led to a nationwide lockdown during Holy Week and Easter. This year our Easter was very different as we once again had churches opened and almost full nationwide. I shared how blessed we were as a nation, compared to other countries who are still in lockdown. I touched on the recent flooding we experienced as well as Cardinal Pell’s release from prison and Divine Mercy Sunday. Monsignor Pedro Quitorio represented the Philippines and Fr John Paul Mary was based in the USA. Lookout for this new series by visiting the website www.ewtn.com.

Above: Charbel Raish, Msgr Pedro Quitorio, Fr. John Paul Mary, & Brian Patrick

Above: The Sydney studio set up for EWTN’s program, ‘Catholic Sphere’


In person talks now happening across the country

We have been seeing churches open up across the country, not only for Mass but for faith formation events too. We are very excited to see this at Parousia, as it is a major part of what we do with live guest speakers going to different venues around the country for evangelisation and faith formation. This month we had our very own Matthew-Hermann Tague share his personal testimony, ‘From Selfishness to Service: One Addicts Struggle’, at the St John the Beloved Melkite Catholic Church in Greenacre, Sydney. It was very well received and we have had very positive feedback from the organisers. The Melkite youth group in Greenacre is one of many Catholic groups hosting speakers this year. They have booked a full year program, hosting monthly guest speakers. I would like to thank the Melkite Eparchy for welcoming Parousia into their churches and I pray that this year has a big impact on all those who attend these talks. We have also seen other venues begin again with their monthly talks. Coming up in May at St Michael’s in Belfield, Fr John Flader will launch his latest book ‘Question Time 5’. Other parish who will have regular speakers again are St Charbel’s (fortnightly) and St Jerome’s (Monthly), both in Punchbowl, along with St Joseph’s, Croydon and a handful of others reaching out to us now to get something going. If you would like to host a speaker at your parish or find out more about these events please reach out to us at www.parousiamedia.com.

Above: Matthew-Hermann Tague was the guest speaker this month at the St John the Beloved Melkite Youth group

The Parousia Podcast

Above: Fr Robert J Spitzer S.J was one of our guests on our Parousia Podcast

Another busy month of Parousia podcasts again. As part of the Lenten Pilgrimage, we had the honour of interviewing Fr Robert J. Spitzer S.J, on the topic ‘Why Does a Good God Allow Suffering?‘. This was a very interesting interview and it what a blessing to have Fr Spitzer on our podcast for the fourth time now. I encourage you to visit his website www.magiscenter.com to learn more about his very important apostolate. We also had a very interesting interview with first-time guest Donald Nohs from the Holy Face apostolate, talking about the Shroud of Turin, the Gospels and Divine Mercy. We also had Steve Ray with his final session of the ‘Footprints of God’ series, on the topic ‘The Apostolic Fathers‘. This concludes a nine month series with Steve and, once he completes his tenth and final documentary, we will get him back to discuss that.

A Brand New monthly podcast series with Raymond!

This month, we launched the first of a nine month series with Raymond De Souza KM. It is called the ‘Sacred Heart Apologetics‘ series and we are going through the ‘12 Promises of the Sacred Heart‘ devotion. We will cover an apologetics topic each month. It is symbolically nine months to coincide with the nine First Friday devotions to the Sacred Heart. Our first show was launched on Good Friday. We will present these right up until the first Friday of December. Look out for this new series on our website under Parousia Podcasts. Please take advantage of all these free podcasts each week.

Above: Raymond De Souza KM with Charbel Raish for the first Sacred Heart Apologetics series

Brand New Program on Mental Health

We are pleased to announce a brand new partnership with ‘Sanctuary Mental Health Ministries’ bringing you a brand new course on mental health. It is called ‘ The Sanctuary Course for Catholics – Exploring the Intersection of Faith and Mental Health’. Did you know that one in four people will be affected by a mental health problem at some point in their lives? This course is an eight-part series which, although can be viewed by individuals, is also designed for use in small groups. Each video features the stories of Catholics living with mental health difficulties, along with insights of archbishops, theologians, and psychologists. The course is available now on our Parousia on Demand platform as a one-off purchase, or for those on our monthly subscription, you get FREE access to the videos and also includes a study guide E-Book. For the one-off purchases, you can get the physical book delivered to you or your church. It has been a long time coming in addressing this very important topic and we pray this will help many people out there.

Another Virtual Catholic Conference

Later this month the Virtual Catholic Conference team are putting on an event called A Man and a Father. It’s time to return to our core as Catholic Men. St. John Paul II often echoed “Man cannot know himself except through a sincere gift of self.” In a world growing increasingly suspicious of masculinity, we need more than ever to return to our roots and remember our identity and calling as men. When we know who we are as men, we can be a sincere gift to the world. The ‘A Man and Father Conference’ is leading this discussion of what it means to live our unique call as men in all areas of our life – family, prayer, hobbies, work, and more. Learn more by visiting their website.

This wraps up another month at Parousia. Thank you again to all who have supported us, either financially or with your prayers. We are working right now on our major project, which we will officially launch in the very near future – the ‘Parousia Academy’. We are very excited about this and we should have all the information ready in next month’s edition of the Parousia Newsletter. I pray you have a blessed Easter season, right up until the great season of Pentecost!

May God bless you and your family

Charbel Raish

Adventure Catechism with Brother Francis (DVD)

Join Brother Francis and friends as they learn all about our Catholic Faith! 40 short lessons in 8 volumes cover the most important questions from the Catechism.

The Server’s Toolbox: A Spiritual and Ritual Guide to Serving the Liturgy – Guide to Serving the Liturgy – George Manassa (Booklet)

‘The Server’s Toolbox: A Spiritual and Ritual Guide to Serving the Liturgy’, is a short booklet designed to help those who are discerning the priesthood; acolytes; present and discerning servers; and parents who are seeking to encourage their children to become involved in liturgical service.

*Featured New Release CD* The Woman at the Foot of the Cross – Part 2 – Dr Ben Akers – Lighthouse Talks (CD)

In this talk—Part 2 of a special two-part Lighthouse Talks presentation—Augustine Institute professor Dr. Ben Akers continues his meditative reflection on Mary’s role in Scripture, weaving together the stories of the Fall and Jesus’ Passion and Resurrection. Dr. Akers also provides illuminating answers to thoughtful questions from the audience. “The Fall happened through eating forbidden fruit; our redemption happens from eating the Eucharist.”

Question Time 5 – Fr John Flader – Connor Court Publishing (Paperback)

Following the success of the first four books of this series, Fr Flader offers yet another 150 questions and answers on everything Catholic: doctrine, the sacraments, moral life, prayer and devotions. They are taken from the author’s popular ‘Question Time’ column in Sydney’s ‘The Catholic Weekly’. The column, now in its twelfth year, also appears in other Australian Catholic newspapers. The book is written in a balanced, easy-to-read style and contains a wealth of information that will be invaluable for anyone who is interested in finding out more about the Catholic faith or who is in a position to hand on the faith to others: priests, teachers, catechists, parents, RCIA coordinators, sacramental program coordinators, recent converts.

*Featured Parousia on Demand* The Sanctuary Course for Catholics by Sanctuary Mental Health Ministries

One in four people will be affected by a mental health problem at some point in their lives, yet the stigma surrounding mental illness silences many and prevents faith communities from responding compassionately and effectively. This eight-session course—designed for use in small groups—explores the realities of mental health and illness, as well as the vital need for faith-based community conversations about these topics. The sessions are accompanied by compelling films that feature the stories of Catholics living with mental health challenges, along with the insights of archbishops, theologians, and psychologists. The course also includes a Study Guide E-Book.

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