While most people were shut in during the pandemic, the Office of Faith Events in the Diocese of Norwich embarked this Spring on a new series of weekly online videos, with office members offering messages of positivity and hope for troubled times.
The “Hope & Faith” video series grew out of a prior regular video series, which was under way just as the COVID-19 pandemic began to take root in the United States. Faith Events produced a series of weekly videos exploring themes of the Lenten season.
As the Lenten Series ended, the office decided to continue the weekly videos focused on Hope and Faith during the pandemic. The entire series is available online at NorwichDiocese.org/FaithSparks.
Liza Roach, Youth and Young Adult Minister for the Diocese of Norwich, kicked off the series during Holy Week, speaking about the numerous times the words “Be Not Afraid” appear in the Bible. She asks how the message can apply to our lives during the pandemic. “Throughout the Bible, we constantly hear, ‘Be not afraid,’ all the way back to when God said it to Moses, and Moses handed over his reign to Joshua,” Roach said. “And Mary, as she conceived, the Angel said to her, ‘Be not afraid.’ “All these large events, throughout the Bible, we are always reminded, ‘Be not afraid,’ because God is with us, no matter what,” she said.
Another video in the series presents national speaker and brand manager of CatholicMom.com, Danielle Bean, who talks about Mary in the month of May. Bean is scheduled to be the keynote speaker for the 2020 Norwich Diocesan Women's Conference on October 24.
The videos feature Office of Faith Events staff along with guest speakers, and weave current events into timeless messages and themes. National youth speaker Robert Feduccia reflects on what God wants us to focus on each day and to have ultimate trust in Him during the pandemic. Office of Faith Events Director Andrea Hoisl talks about the Beatitudes in light of the coronavirus, reminding viewers how each of us is fulfilling the call of the Gospel during the pandemic.
Another national youth speaker, Mike Patin, focused on the question of “when” as it relates to the current times – such as, when can things return to normal? “It’s an anticipation and a question, and it can make us antsy and restless in the waiting,” he said, and said the Easter season allows us to explore the word “while” instead. “While I’m in the stay-at-home pattern what good can I do? While I’m figuring out what comes next, how can I serve,” he asked.
Mary-Jo McLaughlin, coordinator of Catholic Family Services and Marianne Nicholas, a assistant to the Office of Faith Events, also appear in the videos.
-- By Ryan Blessing