At long last, the ICCRS DVD about the Catholic Charismatic Renewal is ready for distribution in the USA and Canada. This project, entitled A NEW PENTECOST: THE CATHOLIC CHARISMATIC RENEWAL has been a two year long "labor of love" that has taken me on several trips to Rome and Split (Croatia) in the making of this video. There are many interesting behind- the- scenes events that took place in working on this project. Suffice it to say for now that the video is done and ready to be distributed.
I have to tell you that I am very happy with the project. I think it is a very positive explanation of the Catholic Charismatic Renewal. At the same time, the message is not "pushy" or "far out," and any open minded person, even if they are not involved in the Renewal should find this interesting.
The musical score is beautiful, created by a rock and roll producer, who had a religious experience as he worked on the music for this DVD. (Check out the website on this...it is amazing!) The video images in the film are nothing short of visual art. With the musical background, the images create a very moving effect. More than a few people have been deeply moved at certain moments in the film.
While people in the Renewal will certainly enjoy experiencing this film, our intent was to make it as a means of communication with men and women who are not involved in Renewal. For this reason, we have divided the film into four separate sections that a person who has only a few minutes could go to a specific topic and see what they are interested in.
The four windows of the film are:
The First Pentecost: This portion of the film makes the connection between the baptism of Jesus and the outpouring of the Holy Spirit on Pentecost. (Running time: 3:38)
The Birth of the Catholic Charismatic Renewal: This segment picks up the account of Pentecost, talks about John XXIII's prayer for a new Pentecost, and then quickly goes into the events of the "Dusquense weekend" and the spread of the Catholic Charismatic Renewal to this day. (Running time: 9:55)
The Popes Welcome the Catholic Charismatic Renewal: Starting with a cornerstone address by Pope Paul VI in St. Peter's Basilica, the film also shows a variety of messages throughout the long Pontificate of our beloved John Paul II. It is a very poignant experience to see at first a young, vibrant Pope and then to watch as the years and trials take their toll. If you are a John Paul fan, this segment alone is worth getting the DVD. At the last moment, before final editing, we were able to include some of the first exhortations given by Pope Benedict XVI to the Renewal. For anyone who has ever asked if the Charismatic Renewal is "approved" by the Church….they have got to see this! (Running time: 8:14)
International Catholic Charismatic Renewal Services: This clip talks about the Renewal from an international perspective and follows the origins of the international body of service and leadership for the worldwide CCR. It makes a very strong connection between the grass roots Renewal and the ecclesial structures at the Vatican. (Running Time: 4:48)
Total running time of the DVD is 30 minutes
For those who are already involved in Charismatic Renewal, this DVD will be a real shot in the arm of affirmation and inspiration. It will help people see that they are part of a sovereign plan that is impacting the Church and changing the world.
The DVD is an excellent way to communicate with priests, parish council members, youth groups and others the excitement and authenticity of the Catholic Charismatic Renewal. It would be very difficult, if one had an open mind, to see this film and ignore the validity of this grace of Pentecost.
This film is even helpful for basic evangelism. The testimonies within the film alone can be an impetus to have one considers their relationship with God. There are many people who want to promote the things of the kingdom, but simply aren't certain what to say or how to do it. Let this DVD do a lot of the work for you! Invite some friends over for coffee, put on the DVD, and be ready to answer some questions. Ask your parish council if you could make a presentation at their meeting and show one segment of the film. I know of a sister who shows a few minutes of the DVD to people who then form small groups to discuss the material. One could use a very brief clip to show after a Sunday mass.
Give one as a gift to your pastor. Meet with the Religious Education people of your parish. Use the DVD as part of a presentation for a Life in the Spirit Seminar. Find some friends from church…or the office and ask then to take it home and watch it. Who knows where that might go? The possibilities are endless!
Here's the point; this film isn't going to do any good sitting on a shelf in your living room. Get a few extra copies, keep one for yourself, and get the rest out into circulation.
This one DVD has the film in 3 languages: English, French, and Spanish so it should be able to reach nearly everyone.
I have done the best I could to develop this tool for evangelization, education, and inspiration. Now I am asking for your help to get this into the hands of the people who will benefit from it the most. I hope you will be my partner in telling everyone we can about the graces of this New Pentecost.
SOME OF THE STORIES BEHIND THE FILM
I arrived in Rome in June of 2005 to begin working on this project. We had an unusual hot spell…over 100 degrees Fahrenheit! No air conditioning! I was dying as I sat in small rooms to review old films and search for more material for the film. After a few days Oreste Pesare (ICCRS Director) and I met with the video team from Croatia, who came to be some of really wonderful friends in the course of this project.
I remember we went out for lunch. A Croatian priest was with us who spoke Croatian and Italian. Oreste spoke Italian and English. At the lunch table, something as simple as passing the salt became an international event. The Croats would speak to the priest in Croatian, who then, would speak to Oreste in Italian, who would then speak to me in English. It was wild! I couldn't imagine how we could ever do something as technical and intricate as a film when we couldn't even communicate. Well, amazingly, we all seemed to be able to understand one another over the course of the project and in doing so, have become wonderful friends.
Many people have told me they like the resonance of my voice in the DVD's soundtrack. The truth of the matter is, I was suffering from a massive head cold that day and could barely breathe, let alone talk. I would take a break, suck on some cough drops, blow my nose and go and do the next part of the recording until I would have to stop again to breathe! I'm glad so many people appreciate the sound…but it nearly did me in!
The sound tract was composed by a guy named Ante Pupacic. He simply goes by the nickname of Pupi…..
When Peter Jurcevic, a key player in this project, took me to meet Pupi for the first time, I was a little taken aback. He had black, wavy hair that went way below his shoulders. He produces music for rock and roll and heavy metal…and certainly looked the part. I was reminded again not to judge a book by its cover…Pupi really did a great job and was a good friend and brother throughout the whole project.
Pupi's own faith-life had waned over the years. He was not, as I understand it, an active Catholic.
But something happened to my friend as he began to work on this film. He listened to what we were saying. He was attentive and respectful when we prayed. Pupi was rediscovering a relationship with Jesus.
One Sunday morning Pupi was working in the studio. He had been trying for weeks to put together a musical score but just couldn't get anywhere. He was alone in the studio, lost in his thoughts, when he heard the church bells announcing the beginning of mass. Suddenly, Pupi realized this was Easter! For the first time in a while, he set aside the music and headed for Church. He made a good confession, and then found a seat in the church. Everything seemed new, fresh, and meaningful to him as he sat in that church.
When it was time for Communion, Pupi went up with the others to receive the Risen Lord in the Host. He later related that as he returned to his pew…..he began to hear music…beautiful music. He had a sense that God had given him this music for the film! After mass, without speaking to anyone, lest he would lose the tune, he raced back to the studio, and began to pick out the melody on the piano, writing down what he was hearing in his head! And that's how we got the music for this DVD.
There are a lot of other stories about the making of this DVD, but this will give you some idea how a handful of guys, living on the opposite side of the world from one another, speaking different languages, were, by the grace of God able to see this project through to the end. Blessed be God!
Enjoy the film.
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