Lenten video series debuts at arch-no.org
Following up on a popular video Scripture series during Advent, the Archdiocese of New Orleans is offering weekly reflections during Lent on the Sunday Gospel readings on its website, said Dominican Father David Caron, director of the Office of Evangelization.
Every Saturday, a new Gospel and brief video reflection will be posted in a prominent position on the archdiocesan website (www.arch-no.org), and that reflection will remain up until the following week.
“A lot of people have given us great support for the idea,” said Father Caron. “It’s gotten a lot of hits. I think for busy people, this kind of reflection at the beginning of the day – at work or at home – could cause them to reflect on the Gospel all week. It’s very practical.”
The videos last from three to five minutes. The series is titled “Lent: A Season of Amazing Grace,” and the introduction includes an instrumental version of “Amazing Grace” playing in the background.
The Gospel for the six Sundays of Lent will be used for the reflections by priests and deacons, and Archbishop Gregory Aymond will offer a Holy Week and Easter message at the conclusion of the series.
The presentations will be archived and available on the website, Father Caron said, so no viewers will miss a video if they click on too late.
The weekly reflections will be delivered by the following priests and deacons:
➤ First Sunday of Lent, Dominican Father John Restrepo, pastor of St. Anthony of Padua Parish, New Orleans, Mk: 1:12-15;
➤ Second Sunday, Oblate Father Anthony Rigoli, pastor of Our Lady of Guadalupe Parish, New Orleans, Mk: 9: 2-10;
➤ Third Sunday, Deacon Larry Oney, of St. Louis Cathedral and Our Lady of Grace Parish Reserve, Jn 2:13-25;
➤ Fourth Sunday, Father Tim Hedrick, parochial vicar of St. Catherine of Siena Parish in Metairie, Jn 3:14-21;
➤ Fifth Sunday, Deacon Leo Tran, of St. Jerome Parish in Kenner, Jn 12: 20-33;
➤ Palm Sunday, Father Kurt Young, archdiocesan vocation director, Mk 11:1-10.
“This will culminate with the archbishop’s Easter message,” Father Caron said.
The project is a joint effort of the Office of Evangelization, the Office of Communications and the Office of Information Technology, Father Caron said. The hope is to expand the scope of the video series in the future by offering daily reflections during Advent and Lent.
“The preachers would be men and women, ordained and non-ordained,” Father Caron said. “Others (besides priests and deacons) can preach when you are not in a eucharistic setting.”
Father Caron said the video series is effective because the culture pays attention to images.
“We thought using video would be more powerful,” he said. “We chose not to do a written reflection because there are a lot of organizations and groups doing that right now.”
Father Caron began his evangelization ministry last summer and has met with archdiocesan officials and pastors “about what people are already doing regarding evangelization, what the challenges are and what the hopes and dreams are for the future.”
He is available to speak to parishes about evangelization, and the results of the archdiocesan synod may impact the way his office operates.
“There’s a lot of energy around the topic of evangelization,” he said. “We have to be really strategic in how we plan.”