2020 End of Year Wrap Up

 

WHAT A YEAR IT HAS BEEN!

Yes, what a year it has been! I remember towards the end of last year many were making lots of wishes for 2020. May we have 2020 vision in the year of 2020 knowing clearly what our vision in life should be. Well, now that we can look back at the year gone by, I think we can say the vision could not be clearer for all of us! Be prepared for anything! You never know when your time is up. We will need to rely on God more than ever. Life is short! You get the picture. A reminder for all of us that we are not in control and we should not take anything for granted. Family, friends, church, health, handshakes, hugs, being able to visit people and the list can go on. Another reminder is that heaven is in the next life and we are on earth preparing for our true home in the Eternal wedding banquet of the Lamb. We will get through this suffering on earth as we are citizens of heaven. Let us never lose sight of our purpose in life to get ourselves and our families to the true promise land.

Above: Charbel with Mother Mary Therese from the Sisters of the Immaculatta at the annual Summer Mission School earlier this year in Toowoomba

I want to say a big thank you to so many of you for your ongoing support. This year, we have had such an overwhelming response of prayers, gratitude, encouragement, etc. Thank you to all the donors who have been able to support us through this year as well. We lost over half of our revenue, due to the cancellations of all live events and bible studies since late March.

Understandably, we lost some of our biggest donors too. Now we need to trust in God more than ever. Although we lost half our income, somehow God has managed to work with the small team we have and we were able to reach more souls this year than all live events combined! In just one year, we have been able to reach over 500,000 people online through our social media platforms, media partnerships, Parousia Podcast, live shows, virtual conferences and, in turn, reach more souls. Over 100 countries have been connected in someway and we were still able to distribute, from online orders, over 20, 000 physical resources of cds, dvds, books and learning programs. I want to thank each of the team members for their hard work this year towards making this happen. Thank you to my co-director, Kevin Bailey in Melbourne, for his ongoing support and outreach. Very exciting developments are happening with Parish renewal and he is a major part of that. Thanks to all the staff: Mark Griffin our Operations Manager, Mary Giribaldi in Accounts, Phillip Brooks our Content Coordinator, Matthew Hermann-Tague our Events Manager and Social Media Coordinator, Kathy Raish overseeing the processing of orders, Miguel Zaragosa our videographer and editor, Salwa Elias our EWTN correspondent and, last but not least, Stephanie Gain, who has been with us, working in admin. Stephanie has recently moved on and we wish her all the very best. As you can see it is not a large team but by the Grace of God we are getting things done.

Above: Charbel sat down with both Ralph Martin and Chris Padgett in January
Below: In February we conducted a Parish Leaders retreat day

 

LIVE EVENTS BEFORE LOCKDOWN

As you may have noticed from the images, we have had a very busy start to the year and right out of the blocks, in January, we had the Immaculata Sisters Summer Mission School, with over 300 young people in Toowoomba, Queensland. Ralph Martin was one of the Keynotes and I had the honour of interviewing him while we are up there. Another Summer school was with the Disciples of Jesus in Sydney and the Keynote there was Chris Padgett, who was so much fun to interview. At the start of February, we had our first parish leaders retreat day with Mary Queen of the Parish, Blacktown. Thanks to Fr Reggie for inviting us out there and to our team Matthew-Hermann Tague and Lorraine Bobosevic, who did a great job in joining me as the presenters. We look forward to offering more parish retreat days in the future. 

Above: In March we welcomed Trent Horn, Monica Doumit, Robert Haddad and Raymond de Souza as well as many others for the Fighting for life conference

In March this year, we welcomed Catholic Answers Apologist Trent Horn, on tour across Sydney and Wollongong. He gave talks on apologetics and also featured as the keynote speaker for our first-ever pro-life conference. The conference was a collaboration with the Archdiocese of Sydney. Hundreds turned up to listen to some of the best pro-life speakers in the country, as well as welcome international guests Trent Horn and Raymond de Souza. Other speakers included Bishop Richard Umbers, Paul Hanrahan, Rebecca Gosper, Eamon Keane, Robert Haddad and Monica Doumit. We hope to do more pro-life conferences in the future each year.

THE YEAR OF THE BOOK LAUNCHES

Above: Charbel Raish at St Michaels and Scott Hahn on the Parousia Podcast

Also in March this year, I launched my book How Islam Led me Back to Christ‘, at the very place I had my conversion. St Michael’s Catholic Church in Belfield was the place I had my encounter with Christ in the tabernacle. It was a special evening with so many old friends coming out in attendance. The lockdown happened in Australia that very week we launched the book and so we managed to at least get a launch done just before that happened. Now that the local Australian launch has happened, we are looking to launch internationally in a big way next year. Please pray that the book can keep inspiring and encouraging people to come back to God and His Church.

Above: Some of the dozens of books that were launched in 2020

Our most popular book this year would have to be the ‘Consecration to St Joseph‘ by Fr Donald Calloway. With the Church dedicating the next year to St Joseph, it is clearly the time for this great saint. Other books we launched this year included ‘Jesus Heals Today‘, by Costandi Bastoli, ‘Parenting for Character: Second Edition‘, by Dr Andrew Mullins, ‘Forged‘, by Jason Evert and Matt Fradd, ‘The Art of Practical Catholicism‘, by George Manassa and ‘My Catholic Keepsake‘, by Kate Frantz, just to name a few. I encourage you to visit our store online and click on the ‘Format’ link then ‘Books’ to see the full range. We hope to publish many more in the years to come.

 

THE YEAR OF THE PAROUSIA PODCAST

Above: The launch of the new Parousia Podcast brand and the first show with hosts Mark Griffin, Charbel Raish and Phillip Brooks

Earlier this year we launched the Parousia Podcast and who would have known the importance of this series, considering the year we have had. With so many people locked down at home, the online series has proven to be one of the most popular things we do. The podcast is simply a weekly show interviewing a new guest speaker. Our most popular podcasts have been with Dr Scott Hahn reaching over 45,000 people on each occasion. Thanks to the cross-posting with the St Paul Centre, EWTN Asia Pacific, Voice of Charity and many other social media pages, we were able to really expand our reach. We also had dedicated a series on the footprints of God with Steve Ray, who has been taking us through Salvation history with so much passion. He remains our most regularly viewed speaker on a week to week basis. We have had so many great guests this year and we are looking forward to doing much more in 2021. Visit our website to see all the shows.

 

THE YEAR OF VIRTUAL CONFERENCES

Due to all the cancellations of live events, it certainly has been the year of the virtual conferences. The Virtual Catholic Conference guys led the way back in April, with a conference of over 60 000 people. They then backed-up and did the Theology of the Body Conference that attracted over 70,000 people! Other organisations then hosted their own conferences and we were partnering with many of them. ‘Smart Catholics’ deserve a mention here, doing a great job in creating high quality conferences. We did our best to offer as many of these to you throughout the year as we could. The launch of the ‘Pentecost Pilgrimage‘ happened this year and it paved the way for different type of concept by making it a longer journey, across weeks. That first pilgrimage attracted over 9000 people from 90 countries. Parousia then thought it was time we did one of our own and, in September this year, we hosted the largest event we have ever done. ‘The Spiritual Rosary Pilgrimage‘ was born, starting from Our Lady’s birthday and running right up until the feast of the Holy Rosary. It attracted over 40, 000 pilgrimage from 116 countries. Praise be to God this event really spread across the world.

Above: In September the Spiritual Rosary Pilgrimage had reached over 40, 000 people from 116 countries.

Once the pilgrimage was over, many people were asking for another one. So we looked forward to the Advent Pilgrimage and, praise God, over 40,000 people again are participating. This is a journey from Eden to Bethlehem and it has two parts. The first 18 days were dedicated to the ‘Jesse Tree’ idea of journeying through Salvation History form Adam to Jesus. The last 9 days are a novena according to the Las Posadas tradition that reenacts St Joseph and Mary finding room in the inn. Its been another amazing experience and the many speakers involved have really made this a special event.

Above: In December the Advent Pilgrimage brought together two traditions : the Jesse tree and the Las Posadas novena.

As you can see, there has been so much happening in 2020, even though we had lockdowns and cancellations of events. A reminder for us that anything can happen and, as long as we are faithful with God, we can keep on track. He never leaves us. Please pray for Parousia as we pray for you and make sure you keep in touch by either subscribing to our YouTube channel, following us on Facebook or signing up to our email list. Visit our website for all the latest articles, podcasts, events and resources. If you can consider supporting us financially please pray about what you can do to support this apostolate. Consider a monthly donation and get access to our Parousia on Demand platform.

Wishing you a Blessed Christmas and New Year

Charbel Raish – Director

Exorcism: The Battle Against Satan & His Demons – Fr. Vincent P. Lampert – Emmaus Road (Paperback)

At a time when many Christians no longer practice their faith, there has been an increase in the attention given to the devil and his devious ways. Because the devil seeks to destroy and separate us from God, all Catholics must be on guard.

In Exorcism: The Battle Against Satan and His Demons, Fr. Vincent P. Lampert, a seasoned exorcist, presents authentic Catholic teaching on the devil and his plan against humanity.

Providing a window into the merciful ministry of exorcism, Fr. Lampert equips Catholics with the knowledge necessary to avoid become vulnerable to spiritual attack. In Exorcism, you’ll learn

  • how the Church selects and trains priests for the ministry of exorcism
  • where and how the devil operates in the world, and what Scripture has to say about it
  • why it is vital for Catholics to live a vibrant life of faith
  • what to do if you suspect the presence of the demonic in your life or in others and
  • how to fend off spiritual attack and build a stronger relationship with God.

Exorcism makes clear that the power of Satan to wreak havoc in our lives pales in light of the glorious omnipotence of our Redeemer, Jesus Christ

Advent Companion – 4 CD Pack

This special Advent pack includes four CDs. Purchased as a pack, this represents 40% off the combined prices of each individual title. Titles Include:

  • ‘Prepare the way of the King’, by Dr Scott Hahn
  • ‘Why Almsgiving?’, by Dr Michael Barber
  • ‘A Journey Through Advent’, by Bishop Robert Barron
  • ‘Advent: Rethinking the Season’, by Dr Tim Gray

*Featured New Release CD* HOPE AFTER SUICIDE By FR CHRIS ALAR, MIC

Death by suicide is sadly at pandemic proportions, killing more people every year than war and homicide combined. While many people know that the Church condemns suicide as a grave sin, few people know that the Church does not teach that a person who commits suicide is automatically condemned to hell. As Fr. Chris Alar, MIC shares in this insightful talk (based upon his book, After Suicide, given an imprimatur), while suicide remains grave and tragic, we must never despair of God’s mercy, and we must know that our prayers can powerfully help those who have taken their own lives, and those who have been left behind.

Germaine: Requiem of a Soul: The True Story of Cinderella – Andrew St-James

This is an historical novel about the life of Saint Germaine Cousin, a 16th century shepherdess who was likely the inspiration for the Cinderella fable. Germaine Cousin’s life story is however, more wondrous than the fable.

Jesus Heals Today – Costandi Bastoli (Paperback)

In this book, Costandi Bastoli bears witness to what he has seen and heard Jesus doing for his people through healing ministry over forty years across Australia, Papua New Guinea and the Philippines. He gives a rich and comprehensive collection of true stories of divine healing today in a wide range of testimonies of physical, emotional and spiritual healings. Read modern-day stories about the lame and crippled walking, a blind man receiving his sight, healings from anorexia, freedom from addictions, and more.

*Featured Parousia on Demand* MODERN SAINTS: MISSIONS FROM GOD – ONLINE VIDEO CONFERENCE

 

Each century, the Church gives us real-life examples of holiness. Saints are missions from God to the modern world! Take part in this online conference to find out how you can live your own mission of holiness today.

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