Welcome to 2021!
Many thought that 2020 would never end but, although we look back on the previous year and remember the struggle, pain and fear, we can begin this new year with hope. It’s a good time to be thankful for the many blessings God has given us and to appreciate the important things in life. We at Parousia have so much to be thankful for and are very excited to bring to you so many exciting things in 2021. There will be more virtual pilgrimages and conferences, exciting new guests for the Parousia Podcasts, weekly articles for the Narrow Gate, new books published, brand new bible studies released, all new resources on our online store, new video content for the Parousia on Demand platform, a brand new online social media platform, an academy and so much more! There’s a lot to look forward to and, although we have had all our major events cancelled for the last nine months and it looks like we cannot plan anything for the first half of this year too, we are confident we can still reach tens of thousands of souls online. We reached more souls in 2020 than all other years combined and hope to reach even more souls in 2021, so please pray for us and help us get there. In this newsletter, I want to highlight a few of the many exciting developments you can expect this year!
The Bible in a Year Podcast by Ascension with Fr Mike Schmitz
What a start to 2021 we’ve had! With the launch of ‘The Bible in a Year’ podcast from Ascension, we have seen millions of podcasts downloaded. This podcast is free and is topping the charts in all categories! This simple yet so effective concept has proven to be exactly what people have been looking for. Father Mike Smitchz reads 2 to 4 chapters each day and provides a short daily commentary. It’s so easy to follow and, by the end of the year, you will have been led through the entire Bible. Father Mike has been promoting the ‘Great Adventure Bible’ and ‘Bible Timeline’, created by Jeff Cavins, which are brilliant tools to help you to read the Bible in the context of the different time periods. As a result of this podcast, we have sold out of our stock of Great Adventure Bibles, as have Ascension in the States! More Bibles are printing now, but won’t be available until at least March. Some people may not get their Bibles until May. This long wait is due to the large print run of such a specially crafted and bound bible. If you want to pre-order these bibles, that has proven to be one of the best selling bibles of 2020, please visit www.parousiamedia.com. To listen to the podcast, search for The Bible in a Year podcast and look for the image above of Fr Mike Smitchz. Spread the word and let’s keep this podcast at number one!
The Take and Read Bible Conference
Above: Some of the presenters for the Take and Read conference
On Jan 8 to 10, we participated in the ‘Take and Read Virtual Bible Conference, presented by Steve Ray and the Virtual Catholic Conference team. I had the privilege to share a talk on ‘How to Pray the Bible with Your Family’. There were over 50 speakers who participated and shared their in-depth knowledge of the scriptures. The response was amazing, with almost 30,000 people registering from around the world. It was free to register for the weekend and then, for those who wanted to own the videos they could purchase the VIP pass. This VIP Pass is still available and you can explore what is included at www.parousiamedia.com. Click on the banner on our website and it will take you to the landing page. Some of the speakers included Dr. Scott Hahn, Kimberly Hahn, Jeff Cavins, Deacon Harold Burke-Sivers, Steve Ray, Dr. Edward Sri, Marcus Grodi, Dr. Mary Healey, Sonja Corbitt, Fr Mitch Pacwa, Patrick Madrid, and many more! I highly encourage you to take a closer look at this conference, which is now available for purchase. This is the first of many Virtual Catholic Conferences which we hope to be associated with throughout 2021.
Above: Steve Ray was the MC and Charbel Raish also gave a talk
The Parousia Podcast
Above: Jacob Imam is our first Parousia Podcast of the year with so many exciting guests planned for 2021
Earlier this month, I had the honour of interviewing the director and co-founder of New Polity, Jacob Imam. He has a fascinating story! We pre-recorded this interview, ready to premiere in the second half of January. Learn about his upbringing as a born Muslim, then fallen away Christian and finally an on-fire Catholic. This is the first podcast recorded for 2021 and we have already pre-recorded a few others to be released in late January and early February. We have an amazing line-up planned, with Fr Robert Spitzer, Dr. Scott Hahn, Ruben Quezada and the list goes on. Make sure you subscribe to the Parousia Podcast, which is available on all popular podcasting platforms, youtube, and via the website.
Brand New Social Media Platform!
We are also very excited to launch our brand new ‘Parousia World’ social media platform! That’s right. This is going to be an alternative to Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and many others. We have invited some of the world’s best speakers to join and become moderators on this platform. So far, over 70 speakers/partners have accepted the invitation and more are expected to join. Hundreds of members have joined also and we expect thousands as this year gets underway. The idea of the platform is to highlight all the good that our partners are doing through their apostolates and it puts these great initiatives in one place for you to see. You can interact with Deacon Harold and Steve Ray among many others as well as join different groups that are focusing on particular topics of interest. It’s a great way for our Parousia followers and supporters to stay in touch and communicate with each other. Please visit www.mightnetworks.com and search for ‘Parousia World’ to join.
Above: A screenshot of what the discovery page looks like in Parousia World
Advent Pilgrimage is now complete. A Lenten Pilgrimage is Being Planned
The Advent pilgrimage came to an end on Christmas Day, with 40,000 people receiving the daily emails throughout the journey. This pilgrimage was free for the duration of the event and, if you would like to own it for yourself and be able to download the videos to save to any device, you can now visit our Parousia On Demand platform at ‘watch.parousiamedia.com’ to purchase it for only $19.99AUD. This pilgrimage is like your own bible study series with 18 talks from Adam to Jesus and you can go over and watch these talks again and again. We categorized the talks so the beginning of the pilgrimage with the 18 talks on Salvation History are grouped together while the 9-day novena of ‘Las Posadas’ is grouped separately. We also have live interviews and even the Spanish talks too! It was the first time we have offered talks like this in any language other than English and we hope to be able to reach more people in the future with a variety of languages. We are now planning a Lenten pilgrimage. Please pray for that as we get ready to unveil it in time for Lent. This will be our fourth online pilgrimage overall.
Above: The Advent Pilgrimage had reached over 40, 000 people from 95 countries.
The Year of Saint Joseph
The Holy Father, on the feast of the Immaculate Conception, 2020, announced the year of St Joseph! This is a very exciting announcement, especially with all the work that has gone into promoting a strong devotion to him by Fr Calloway. A great thing to do this year is the ’33 Day Consecration to St Joseph’, by Fr Donald Calloway. We are so blessed to be able to print his book in Australia. It is the most comprehensive book on St Joseph out there! The book has already been popular in the first couple of weeks of this year – selling out! We have more stock on the way and invite you to approach you parish priest to do this consecration with the parish. Families & prayer groups should do this together! Let’s turn to St Joseph to protect us in 2021.
Above: Fr Don Calloway was a guest on the Parousia Podcast with Charbel last year and has been instrumental in promoting the devotion to St Joseph
Well, I am only scratching the surface with what to expect this year! As usual, we will be releasing numerous new resources including books, bible studies, videos, audios, virtual conferences and more. We plan to have live events again by the second half of the year and have plans to bring back Deacon Harold, Sonja Corbitt and Jeff Cavins. We also hope to confirm Fr Leo, Dr John Bergsma and Dr Ray Gurendi with rescheduled dates at some point too. Bible studies will go ahead, starting online for term one and more details to come soon about face to face. You will notice on the back of the newsletter a graphic about the Parousia Academy. We are very close now! All will be revealed next month! Please pray for this exciting project!
Wishing you a Blessed New Year!
Charbel Raish – Director
Consecration to St. Joseph: The Wonders of Our Spiritual Father – Fr Donald H. Calloway, MIC – Marian Press (Paperback)
(You save $2.96)
The Art of Practical Catholicism will aid the faithful to take practical measures to live the faith, which in turn will aid you in achieving your personal salvation and that of those around you.
This book will take you into your everyday life, in and outside the life of the Church, to help you implement your faith in our modern world.
Also Available in the Following Format:
Restored: Stories of Encounter
Restored: Stories of Encounter is a six-part documentary series on individuals who had radical encounters with Christ and went on to make a real difference in the world. This series provides vivid and deeply human role models for all who desire life in Christ.
Every subject of this series is a moving example of Christ’s perfect love for the poor, the lost, and the weak. They can inspire anyone who wants to do something good to take the leap. All our subjects did was let their great love move them to action.
- Connie McEldowney: Rustic Hope – A unique pro-life effort in Russia, Ohio that puts the most importance on caring for young mothers and their children.
- Deacon Pablo Perez: Kolbe House – This Chicago prison minister brings hope and healing to those behind bars—and who better for the job than someone raised on those same streets?
- Fr. Bob Lombardo: Mission of Our Lady of the Angels – Though it was devastated in a now-infamous fire fifty years ago, Our Lady of the Angels church has become a beacon of hope for the poor thanks to the work of one passionate man: Fr. Bob Lombardo.
- Alan Graham: Community First Village – This beautiful village in Austin, Texas has given countless homeless a place to call home. Alan’s work emphasises loving and responsible rehabilitation for the chronically homeless by giving them a supportive and lively community to grow and thrive in.
- Sharon Mason: Equine Dreams – Sharon discovered equine therapy because of her deep desire to help her son cope with his rare neurogenic disorder. Today, her 13-acre equine therapy centre provides a beautiful place for people to find healing and discover beauty and purpose in life.
- Jordan & Jesse Schiele: Jerusalem Farm – The members of this Catholic community strive to serve the Lord by living intentionally, fasting from unnecessary luxuries, and helping build and rebuild homes in their low-income neighbourhood. They seek to live simply and charitably in a world driven by consumerism.
Prison Journal, Volume 1:The Cardinal Makes His Appeal – George Cardinal Pell – Ignatius Press (Paperback)
** Please note that this product is only available for distribution to customers in Australia & New Zealand **
That final verdict came after Cardinal George Pell endured a gruelling five years of accusations, trials, conviction, humiliation, character assassination, and finally more than a year of imprisonment, having been convicted by an Australian appellate court for a crime he didn’t commit.
Led off to jail in handcuffs and with shackles binding his ankles following his trial on March 13, 2019, the 78-year old Australian prelate began what was to be a six-year imprisonment for”historical sex abuse”. After Cardinal Pell endured more than 13 months in prison, eight of those in solitary confinement, the Australian High Court voted 7-0 to overturn his original conviction. His victory over an extreme travesty of justice was not just personal, but one for the entire Catholic Church.
Bearing no ill will toward his accuser, judges, prison workers, journalists, and those harbouring and expressing hate for him, the Cardinal used his time in prison as a kind of “extended retreat”. He eloquently filled pages with spiritual insights, his daily activities, personal thoughts, love for his fellow man, and beautiful, moving prayers, among other details.
This is the first of three volumes of Cardinal Pell’s extraordinary testimony to strength, perseverance, love, and grace is.
“These prison diaries should never have been written. That they were written is a testament to the capacity of God’s grace to inspire insight, magnanimity, and goodness amidst wickedness, evil, and injustice. That they were written so beautifully bears witness to the Christian character that divine grace formed in their author, Cardinal George Pell.”
— George Weigel, from the Introduction
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.