First Parish Council Reflection Day!
At the start of this month we led our first parish council reflection day. This was for Mary, Queen of the Family parish in Blacktown. The reflection day was held at the Holy Innocents shrine in Kellyville and tailored for the parish council leadership team.
Above: Fr Reggie offered Mass for the Pastoral Council Reflection Day
The day went very smoothly and involved presentations from myself, Matthew-Herman Tague, our events coordinator, and Lorraine Bobosevic, a Parousia ambassadress. We each touched on our personal stories and what led us back to the Church. It was important that the parish became a home away from home for us and we had a sense of belonging. The day was interactive with workshops and break out sessions.
Above: Charbel Raish leads the opening session for the reflection day
We began the day with the liturgy of the hours morning prayer (Lauds) which involves praying the Psalms. We then ended the day with Adoration and Mass. It was an extremely blessed day with so much energy and positive feedback. This was held on a Saturday and it helped the council understand their role and purpose.
We combined the principles from various sources such as ‘The Soul of the Apostolate’, ‘Forming Intentional Disciples’ by Sherry Wedel, Divine Renovation by Fr James Malon and ‘The Activated Disciple‘ by Jeff Cavins. There is so much wisdom in these resources and I can’t recommend them highly enough for your parish.
Above: Lorraine Bobosevic shares her experience with the leadership team
If you want to know how to have us come and help your parish council or leadership team please contact us at the office on 02 9651 0375 and we would be happy to schedule a day with you.
Parousia Podcast Team is Ready to Launch!
We have been busy preparing to launch the Parousia Podcast. I have had some interviews over the last couple of months and we are in the process of preparing the branding for it. Right now you can listen to some of these on Cradio, however, we will be setting up a Parousia Podcast channel that will launch towards the end of February. Look out for that! There will be 3 hosts for this podcast: Mark Griffin, our production manager, Phillip Brooks, our Cradio coordinator and myself.
Above: Mark Griffin, Charbel Raish & Phillip Brooks on the Parousia Podcast
We had lots of fun recording the first 3 episodes together. We felt it would be appropriate to have the first 3 episodes dedicated to each host so we each took turns in getting interviewed by the other two hosts so you the listener / viewer gets to know more about each of our stories.
I went first and was asked to share the story of Parousia which was fun and a great reminder to me of the many blessings God has given this apostolate. The
second interview was with Mark and we got learn things about him for the first time. It was great to learn about how he met his wife and some trying times he experienced as a father for the first time. The third interview was with Phillip and we got to know more about how he took his faith more seriously during his senior years in high school. We are very excited about the launch of this new initiative with not only myself but Mark and Phil too!
Above: Mark Griffin & Phillip Brooks the other hosts of the Parousia Podcast
Study Groups are underway!
We are very excited to see so many parishes hosting bible studies this year. I personally will be facilitating 3 groups in term 1 while Matthew-Herman Tague will be facillitating at least 1 or 2 as well. Look out for the different venues on our website under study groups. When you are on the homepage scroll down through the boxes and click on the one that says ‘Study Groups‘ and from there you will see all the venues. NSW and QLD are going very well. VIC has launched as well for the year so all those details are there.
If your parish has not yet done the ‘Unlocking they Mystery of the Bible‘ study by Jeff Cavins, then you are missing out! Get in touch with us today and book in either myself or Matthew to lead a study for you at no cost. This foundational study is an overview of the bible and follows the bloodline of Jesus from Adam to Christ. Its one of the best ways to begin your bible study. Once you have the big picture of scripture, you can then explore other areas and go deeper.
Above: Our most popular bible study, ‘Unlocking the Mystery of the Bible‘ is by Jeff Cavins
This Lent we are launching for the first time the new program ‘No Greater Love‘ by one of our favourites, Dr Edward Sri. This is a five part study on the biblical walk through the passion of Christ. I will be leading a study in Blacktown at St Patrick’s primary school.
Mark Griffin will have a blog about this program this month exploring the program a little deeper. A fantastic study and inside look into what it was like in those last days of Jesus’s life. Actual footage filmed in the Holy Land allows you to see the places that Jesus covered in the final week of His life. This program comes with an optional paperback book that supplements the whole program nicely. This is a great way to prepare for Good Friday so take a closer look here.
Above: We are launching for the first time in Lent Dr Edward Sri’s program
Speakers Coming in 2020
This month we welcome the first of many speakers in 2020. Long time friend, Raymond De Souza, returns later this month to give a few retreats, talks and interviews across Sydney. We are excited to release his USB pack that features 23 of his talks, all on one small device. This is only $49.99 and if you consider the CDs used to be $10 each that’s over $230 worth of value.
We also welcome Trent Horn from Catholic Answers in the first week of March. He will be the keynote at the Fighting for Life conference as well as giving talks in Wollongong and across Sydney. Look out for all these details here. Trent Horn is the author of the famous book ‘Persuasive Pro Life‘ and this will be made available at the conference and across the tour. Please help spread the word for these tours and especially for the Fighting for Life conference on March 6th and 7th which will feature 8 speakers including Raymond and Trent. Don’t forget its free to register!
Above: Trent Horn and Raymond De Souza are first up for our 2020 line up.
Men’s Breakfast at Bonnyrigg
My next talk will be at a men’s breakfast at the St John the Baptist parish in Bonnyrigg. The event is on Saturday 14th March starting at 8:30am and includes Mass, breakfast and my talk along with Q&A and discussion groups. I encourage all men to come along and bring a friend whom you feel may benefit.
My book, ‘How Islam Led Me Back to Christ’, is now at the printer and will be released any week now! Please pray for that! I am happy to go to any parish to share my story so get in touch with us to make arrangements. Next month we also are looking at Melbourne talks and New Zealand later in the year as well as the USA. More on this soon.
God Bless you,
Charbel Raish – Director
*Featured New Release* The Perpetual Virginity of Mary (CD)
Luther, Calvin, and Zwingli defended this teaching. What did the early Christians believe? Are the accusations against Mary’s virginity purely based on semantics? Find out why the denial of the perpetual virginity is unscriptural, unhistorical and illogical in terms of Hebrew customs, traditions, and language.
Persuasive Pro-Life: How to Talk About Our Culture’s Toughest Issue Trent Horn – Catholic Answers (Paperback)
Are you scared to talk about abortion? Don’t worry—almost everyone is. You can overcome this fear, says Trent Horn in his groundbreaking book Persuasive Pro-Life. With a little knowledge and a few proven techniques, you can become a bold and effective apologist for life. The struggle over abortion has never been hotter, and the stakes could not be higher. Read Persuasive Pro-Life today and never again be afraid to speak up for the precious and fundamental right to life.
No Greater Love: A Biblical Walk Through Christ’s Passion – Ascension – (Starter Pack)
Filmed on location in the Holy Land, No Greater Love is a biblical pilgrimage that reveals Christ’s amazing love for us. Best-selling author Edward Sri guides you through the last hours of Christ’s life. You will walk step-by-step with Jesus from the Garden of Gethsemane to the Mount of Calvary. Every step of the way, Old Testament prophecies, messianic expectations, biblical symbolism, and historical context shed light on the mystery of Christ’s suffering and death. With these insights, Catholics can come to a deeper understanding and appreciation of God’s immeasurable and unconditional love for drawing closer to Jesus than ever have before.
Answering Atheism – Trent Horn – Catholic Answers (2 CD Set)
Meticulously researched, and street-tested in Horn’s work as a pro-God apologist, Answering Atheism tackles all the major issues of the debate, including: • How to reconcile human evil and suffering with the existence of a loving, all-powerful God • Whether the empirical sciences have eliminated the need for God—or in fact point to him • Why the atheist symbol of the “Flying Spaghetti Monster” is a flawed analogy for theistic claims • History’s best arguments for the existence of God—and how to answer objections to them.
In a world grown hostile to God, it’s more important than ever to be able to defend him. Listen to Answering Atheism and equip yourself to rebut atheists’ challenges—and to share with them the good news that God is real.
Raymond de Souza – Audio Talks Bulk Pack – USB
– Teaching You How to Defend Your Faith;
– Did Christ Found a Specific Church?;
– Divorce & Re-Marriage – Why Not?;
– How Can Mary be Immaculate?;
– Celibacy: Unnatural or Supernatural?;
– Contraception and the Mind of Christ;
– Jesus Christ: Liar, Lunatic or Lord?;
– The Rosary: Vain Repetitions?;
– Catholic Statues or Pagan Idols?;
Plus more. There are 23 talks in total.
*Featured Parousia On Demand* Putting on the Armour of God – Deacon Harold
Is ‘The Catholic Man’ an endangered species? Unlike any other endangered species, The Catholic Man is destroying himself by giving in to the evils of the current culture. In this presentation, Deacon Harold explains that, by ‘Putting on the Armour of God’, described by St Paul in Ephesians 6, we can combat the influence of the culture and be the men God created and calls each one to be.
Fighting For Life Conference: Friday 6th – Saturday 7th March 2020
Please click the image below to see all the details including the full schedule and to register for free!