Lenten Pilgrimage Update
Above: Matthew-Hermann Tague & Charbel Raish praying the St Joseph Novena
The Lenten Pilgrimage is underway and it is great to see pilgrims logging on each day to read and to pray together. As you know, this year the theme is ‘The Seven Last Words of Christ‘. We have been journeying with the Venerable Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen, using his reflections on Christ’s seven last words. For those who purchased the book, you have been going through the daily reading plan and discussing the lessons with other pilgrims. Many have also tuned into the weekly discussion with Allan Smith, unpacking the week’s reflections. If you have not purchased the book, all is not lost. Allan has been posting quotes from the daily reflections, providing little gems on which people can reflect throughout their day. We have also completed the nine day novena to St Joseph, which involved the Rosary and the novena prayer. We are now preparing for the ‘Stations of the Cross‘ component with Steve Ray, followed by another nine day novena, this time leading up to the feast of Divine Mercy, just after Easter.
Above: Allan Smith has been leading novena prayers and sharing the daily quotes from Archbishop Sheen’s book, ‘The Seven Last Words of Christ Explained‘.
As we progress through the season of Lent, now may be a good time to look reflect on the journey so far. Have you gone off track or slipped a little with your Lenten commitments? Don’t give up! You can start fresh today and renew your commitment for the remainder of this great season. For those still unsure how to access the pilgrimage, feel free to reach out to us. All the action is happening inside of Parousia World. It is free to set up your account. Once registered, simply login daily to enjoy the interaction with others. It is not too late to join.
Feasts of St Joseph and St Patrick
Although Lent is a penitential season, we have some major feast days during this time. The major solemnity of St Joseph occurred on 19th March this month and the feast day of St Patrick falls on 17th March. Because we are based in Australia and thanks to the Irish Catholics evangelising this country, the feast is raised to a solemnity for us down under. Festivities for St Patrick’s feast still include parades and people wearing green etc. The famous tradition of drinking a Guinness beer on this day is also popular. Although the celebration of these days is quite secular in nature, we still have an opportunity to renew understanding of this feast and re-evangelise our culture. Another great feast coming up is the feast of the Annunciation. This year, Pope Francis is going to consecrate Russia to the Immaculate Heart of Mary and what a time to do it! While there is this war and division around us, let’s all turn to the saints, especially the Immaculate Heart of Mary, for world peace.
Above: Two of the feast day banners designed by Parousia for each saint
Parousia Study Groups Well Attended!
I have been running a Lenten series at St Michael’s church hall in Belfield, Sydney. The program we are studying is Dr Edward Sri’s popular course, “No Greater Love: A Biblical Walk through the Christ’s Passion“. It has been very well attended with over 70 people turning up each week, including the parish priest, which is always nice to see. These evenings begin with the video from Dr Sri. Then I unpack the lessons learned from the video for the next hour, with Q&A as we go along. It’s great to be doing bible studies in person once again. These study groups have proven to be some of the most effective forms of evangelisation and faith formation. I strongly encourage every Catholic to participate in a study group. For more information visit our website.
This month we released a very informative podcast on the shroud of Turin. I had the privilege of speaking with two experts on the topic – Robert Rucker and Russ Breault. Our discussion was jam-packed with information about the history, scientific discoveries, debates and evidence showing that the shroud is truly a relic of Jesus Christ. I learned so much myself during this episode and I encourage you to go back and have a listen. Like all podcasts, you can subscribe to ‘Parousia Podcast‘ on any of the major podcast platforms to be notified of the latest episodes or watch them on our YouTube channel. Subscribe then click the bell to get all the notifications.
Another powerful podcast this month was the latest episode of the ‘Speakin with Deacon‘ series, with Mark Griffin and Deacon Harold Burke-Sivers. They covered the topic of prayer and it was great to learn about how Deacon Harold lives out his prayer life. Lots of great questions clarifying what prayer is and exploring the different types of prayer. Another excellent show and well worth your time going back and to listen. Parousia Podcasts are released each week and are free. Please share them among your family and friends. It just might be that spark that ignites or deepens their faith.
‘For Greater Glory’ – Movie Screening Tour
This May will be the ten year anniversary of the film ‘For Greater Glory‘, based on the true story of the Mexican Cristiada War. We are excited to announce that the author of the companion book to the film, Ruben Quezada, who is an expert on the topic, will be joining us on a speaking tour. We will be holding some movie screenings, with Q&A session with Ruben directly following. As well as the screenings, there will be individual talks by Ruben, who will share many stories from this time in Mexico’s history. From blessed Miguel Pro to St Jose Sanchez Del Rio, Our Lady of Guadalupe, the Cristiada war, religious freedom and more! For all the details visit our website www.parousiamedia.com.
The Parousia Fundraising Dinner is Booked!
On Thursday, 12th May, for the first time in three years, we will be hosting the sixth Parousia fundraising dinner. This year the guest is Ruben Quezada, who will be kick-starting his tour on this night. There will be a three-course meal with unlimited drinks. The venue will be ‘The Waterview Reception Lounge’ in Homebush Bay, Sydney. The evening commences at 6:30 pm. Tickets are $99 each. A full table of ten can also be purchased. We hope you can make it and look forward to seeing you all there.
That wraps up another month at Parousia. As you can see, things are beginning to open up again and we hope to be hosting more live events. Thanks to all of you for your prayers and support. Without your support, we cannot do what we do. We always welcome any feedback, so feel free to reach out to us anytime via the contact us page at our website. I pray we all make the most of this Lenten season as we continue our preparation to welcome the risen Lord!
May God bless you and your family.
Charbel Raish – Director
Jesus I Trust in You: A 30-Day Personal Retreat with the Litany of Trust
– Sr. Faustina Maria Pia, S.V. (Paperback)
We were made for love, and love requires trust. In Jesus I Trust in You: A 30-Day Personal Retreat with the Litany of Trust, Sr. Faustina Maria Pia, S.V., learn what it means to place our trust in Jesus — no matter the circumstances.
In this powerful invitation to a loving, trusting relationship with our Lord, you will pray with the Litany of Trust to overcome every obstacle to peace.
– Laurie J. Schmitt (Paperback)
Every October 7, the Catholic Church celebrates the Feast of Our Lady of the Rosary. What many may not know is that this title was bestowed on the Blessed Mother after the Battle of Lepanto in 1571—the most epic sea battle in the history of Christendom.
Lepanto’s Lady is based on the real-life events of the Battle of Lepanto and introduces readers to Rosa, a young girl from Amalfi who must use her strength and cunning to stay clear of slave traders and ruffians as she travels alone in search of her father, who has been captured by enemies.
Can Rosa manage this treacherous journey with the help of newfound friends? How will she find and save her father? Lepanto’s Lady is a riveting tale that demonstrates the undeniable power of the Rosary.
Recommended for ages 10 and up.
Evangelization: It Was Never Meant to be Complicated
– Msgr Thomas Richter (CD)
The Thief Who Stole Heaven: A Tale of Dysmas
– Robert M. Smith (Paperback)
When Jesus of Nazareth was crucified, there were two others crucified with Him. Tradition tells us their names. Dysmas and Gestus.
Dysmas is known to the world as “the good thief.” But who was he? And how did he come to be hanging upon a cross beside Jesus? The scriptural account explains how Jesus came to be there, and even why. But what of Dysmas?
Mix what we know from Scripture, and so much learned since then, with a fertile imagination, and you have, “A Tale of Dysmas.” The thief who literally stole heaven for himself, with his dying breath. Join us as we explore the unlikely yet plausible tale, of the life and adventures of the greatest thief in history.
How to Save Your Marriage Before Meeting Your Spouse
– Jason Evert (Parousia On Demand)
Can you divorce-proof a marriage before it begins? Marriage preparation doesn’t start with the engagement. To build the foundation for lasting love, learn what to do before saying “I do.”