The Catholic Answers Tour and Conference
It has been another packed month at Parousia. After returning from our first Parousia Pilgrimage we were getting ready to welcome not just one speaker but 4 speakers from Catholic Answers. This has been the highest number of speakers we have ever hosted at one time. It put our little team to the test but praise God it all went smoothly. From the moment the team arrived at Sydney International airport there was a joyful spirit present.
We showed the team the traditional Parousia welcome by going straight to Circular Quay and showing our guests the Opera House and Harbour Bridge. We then took them to their accommodation to freshen up before showing them Koala Park where they got to pat a Koala and feed a Kangaroo. The full Aussie bucket list was ticked off right in day one!
Above: Charbel Raish with Cy Kellett, Chris Check, Tim Staples, Karlo Broussard & Matthew Tague
The next day we got right into our first ever 3 day Parousia Conference. We have had many events over the years including one day conferences but never across 3 days. The venue was the Epping Club and all 4 speakers were to give presentations on the first day.
I remember upon returning from Pilgrimage our numbers were very low with only 2 weeks to go until the conference, so with prayer and a leap of faith we removed the $75 ticket price and instead we offered the event for free and thanks be to God over 100 registrations occurred each day. As a result, close to 900 people came through the doors across the 3 days which was basically just under 300 each day. Because of the overlap of days and people coming to either one day or two or three we worked out that between 600 and 700 individuals had made an appearance at some stage over the conference.
The energy was very high and the atmosphere was so joyful and positive. It was both informative and inspiring. The 4 speakers did exceptionally well and worked together so smoothly, they were incredibly engaging!
Above: Pro-life themed panel discussion with the Catholic Answers team and Australian journalist, Monica Doumit
The opening talk was from Cy Kellett the host of Catholic Answers LIVE radio show. He did an amazing job going through salvation history with a focus on the last 500 years of history asking the question ‘What ever happened to the modern world?’ One take away from that talk was the comment about how the modern world wants to cut us off from the Eucharist which is supposed to be the source and summit of our faith.
Tim Staples followed up with his famous talk ‘Why be Catholic?’ It was great to have him back for his sixth trip to Australia! Karlo Broussard and Chris Check also gave talks, all of which were fantastic. There were all up 20 presentations across the 3 days including the Q & A panels, workshops and plenary sessions. This conference felt like a celebration of our faith and the energy in the room was so strong. Thank you to all who prayed for and attended this conference!
Above: Karlo Broussard speaking at Wollongong
Once the conference was over, I raced off with Karlo Broussard to the Wollongong Cathedral where a packed hall was waiting for him to speak on his famous talk ‘Your Truth, My Truth‘ and it was an outstanding evening. With so many young people there, the excitement and engagement was truly something to remember.
Cy Kellett introduced Karlo and it was great to see a good friend in Fr Mark De Batista in the front row who also gave Karlo a blessing. Thanks to Matthew Tague and Jude Hennessey for making the night happen. We were told that the amount of people that turned up was not double but triple the expected number by the bishop! This was our first ever event at the Wollongong Cathedral and we have a follow up event planned with John Pridmore.
Above: Tim Staples drawing in a crowd, speaking at the Two Wolves Cantina
Tim Staples traveled to Melbourne for the weekend before returning to Sydney to speak at Theology on Tap and then St Charbel’s in Punchbowl on Islam. Also on the Monday night pub talk we had Karlo in Brisbane and Chris in Melbourne giving pub talks all at the same time. This was the first time we have ever done this and thanks be to God it worked out very well – packed pubs in all 3 cities!
Karlo Broussard also came back to Sydney to give a talk on ‘The 4 Levels of Happiness’ to 50 teachers. The team then traveled west to Perth to speak at the ‘Why Be Catholic?’ conference for our friends at Evangelisation Australia to a large audience.
This was truly a blessed tour and our partnership with Catholic Answers has gone to the next level. We currently have a license agreement for the booklets, CDs and DVDs. This means you don’t have to pay for the international shipping for these resources. We are in negotiations to expand that agreement to the full range of books and digital rights as well. Please pray for this and we hope to bring you the full range of resources in the near future.
Above: (L-R) Ian Smith, Karlo Broussard, Cy Kellet, Chris Check, Tim Staples & Charbel Raish at the Parousia office
There are so many resources out there and I encourage you to take advantage of these to learn and study your faith. Also please take advantage of the free resources at www.catholic.com which is a great website to get answers to your questions. They have the LIVE radio show each day and we are excited to say that it is on www.cradio.org.au now as well. 9am to 11am Tuesdays to Saturdays.
Thank you once again for your prayers and support with the Catholic Answers tour. If you missed any talks we were able to live-stream most of the talks on our Facebook page so please visit www.facebook.com/parousiamedia to see those. They were recorded on a smart phone so the audio was not the best, however, it is enough to make out what is being said. The high definition versions are getting edited right now.
The first session released is the Q & A panel from day one and is now available on our YouTube channel. Please subscribe to it to get the latest videos. Keep an eye out for any new updates in regards to our Parousia and Catholic Answers partnership.
Paul J Kim’s Visit
Prior to the arrival of the Catholic Answers crew we welcomed Paul J Kim who is famous for his singing and music ministry. He has spoken to hundreds of thousands of young people and is regularly asked to speak at the Steubenville conferences. He was the Keynote Speaker for the Ignite conference and we were blessed to have a day with him in between the Brisbane and Sydney events.
I interviewed Paul along with my co-host, Salwa Elias, followed by a morning of filming short clips with him so look out for them! In the evening we had Paul give his testimony at Guardians in St Charbel’s in Punchbowl. It was an upbeat evening with a moving testimony.
Paul is a father of 3 and of Korean background. He lives in the USA and has dedicated himself to his ministry full-time for the last 7 years. Please visit his website to know more about him at www.pjkmusic.com and to listen to our interview with him on the Voice of Charity.
Sydney Ignite Youth Conference
Above: Operations Manager, Mark Griffin, with Fr Daniel McCaughan
The Ignite Youth conference was in Sydney for the first time and we were blessed to be a part of it. This has been occurring annually in Brisbane for many years now and has built up to almost 1,500 young people which is amazing.
This year they added Sydney to the agenda in conjunction with Sydney Catholic Youth from the Archdiocese and over 800 young people came which is a great turnout for the first time in Sydney. Lots of priests, religious and young people from all over the country came. The was a real collaborative spirit which was very nice and looking forward to seeing future events from Ignite.
John Pridmore is in Australia!
Former Gangster and Author of ‘Gangland to Promised Land‘, John Pridmore is here in Australia. He is currently leading missions and school talks in northern NSW and will partner with us from November 4 onwards to give talks in Brisbane, Taree, Sydney and any other city interested in hosting him.
His testimony is very powerful and one of mercy and forgiveness. He speaks to hundreds of thousands of people each year sharing how God changed his life. He is a true Apostle of Christ doing such important work. He has now written 4 books and given multiple different talks, parish missions, retreats etc.
If you want to book him for your parish leading up to Advent please get in touch with us. There are a few places left in the month of November so take advantage of it!
As we enter term 4, I encourage you to check if there is a bible study running nearby. Please see our website under the Parousia LIVE section where you will find Catholic Study Groups as well as an interactive map.
That wraps up another month and Praise God there is so much good happening. Please continue to keep us in your prayers.
God Bless you!
Charbel Raish – Director
CD of the Month! From Selfishness to Service: One Addict’s Battle
A cautionary tale and personal testimony from Matthew-Hermann Tague, a pain sufferer who has battled many destructive addictions and deep emotional pain, who now lives in the peace of Christ and sober intoxication of the Holy Spirit.
Following the Evidence – Trent Horn – Catholic Answers (2 CD Set)
In Following the Evidence, Trent recounts how God’s grace put in his path Christians who helped him break through his stubborn bias against religion, leading to his profession of faith in Jesus Christ. And then, how like a detective he meticulously examined the reasons for and against Catholicism—tracing them step by step until he saw no alternative to full communion with Christ’s Church.
‘Miracles’ – Karlo Broussard – 20 Answers – Catholic Answers (Booklet)
In this booklet you’ll find smart, solid answers to 20 questions on the topic of miracles. The rare and wonderful supernatural events we call miracles are a gift from God, testifying to a skeptical world of his existence and his power.
20 Answers: Miracles unpacks the nature of miracles, their appearances in Scripture and history, how the Church evaluates them, and ways to answer doubters who say they’re mere superstition. Most of all, it shows that miracles are never an end in themselves, but instead are meant to lead us to greater faith in, and gratitude for, God’s providence.
Reform Yourself! How To Pray, Find Peace, And Grow In Faith With The Saints Of The Counter-Reformation – Shaun McAfee – Catholic Answers (Paperback)
Our own souls are in constant need of reform, of re-conversion to God and his will for us. We struggle with sin, we become distracted in prayer, we find it hard to be loving and easy to be selfish.
In Reform Yourself!, Shaun McAfee shows you how the saints can be guides in your own personal transformation. Drawing upon the saints’ writings, works, and life events, Reform Yourself! reveals in each of them a model of a particular virtue or grace that we all need—along with practical tips for imitating them in our own lives.
From Gangland to Promised Land – John Pridmore (CD)
John Pridmore grew up in London’s East End and he started stealing when he was 11 which quickly led to shoplifting and burglary. For his crimes he was sent to a detention centre and youth prison. His work as a bouncer in the West End led him to join some of London’s most vicious ‘firms’, and gave him entry into a dark world of drug dealing and intimidation. Hear how he left it all behind, encountered Jesus and turned his life completely around.
Brother Francis: The Days of Advent (Episode 17) DVD
Join Brother Francis in this special episode that helps children observe the days of Advent in a way that will be meaningful and fun! Presented with the same great balance of devotion and fun as in all other Brother Francis episodes, “Brother Francis: The Days of Advent” is a great way to celebrate the Lord’s coming before Christmas!