For older Catholics – “mature” is how Rich Harter described them – “catechism” conjures long-ago days of memorization and sing-songy recitation without really learning what the words meant. Knowing that such a method would be ineffective in trying to reach a generation with multiple options in media and in consuming media, the Year of Faith committee of the Archdiocese of Milwaukee developed what it hopes will be a way to evangelize that part of the culture.
The result is “C4: Ignite Your Catholic Faith” in which Bishop Donald J. Hying talks about a “hunger of the human heart.” The “C4” represents the “Christ and the Catechism of the Catholic Church.” The weekly videos will be available every Friday, beginning Oct. 5, at www.archmil.org/year-of-faith.htm.
“We’re going to have a weekly, two-minute video for each of the weeks of the Year of Faith, taken from the Catechism of the Catholic Church,” according to Harter, director of evangelization for the Archdiocese of Milwaukee. “Because of the idea of needing to re-propose the Gospel, re-propose the faith, what we’ve done – sort of against the backdrop of the catechism – is we’ve asked the question, a deep human question that the catechism answers.”
He described the videos, shot and produced by Video Wisconsin in Brookfield, as “very much alternative, very much in keeping with a new evangelization approach,” aimed at people in their 20s and 30s.
“If you look at the Gospel pattern of how Jesus evangelized, he didn’t start with the catechetical, he started with invitation and he started with hungers of the human heart, and proposing the good news of the reign of God,“ Harter said.
Randy Nohl, director of the John Paul II Center under whose auspices the evangelization office operates, said the filming and editing of the videos “is fast paced, short.”
Harter added, “They’re designed for Twitter and Facebook, for people to pass these on to their friends, especially those in their 20s and 30s; short and sweet, that they see it, they have an impact, and then they hopefully respond.”
He noted that all the videos invite viewers to learn more, talk to someone about the topics, and provide links where they can do that.
In addition to Bishop Hying, the topics of the videos will be available to Archbishop Jerome E. Listecki and Bishop Richard J. Sklba, encouraging them to use them as the basis for their Herald of Hope columns, according to Nohl.
Harter explained that three groups are being targeted with the new evangelization videos.
“You’re talking about the people already faithful in the church, who need their faith renewed. And these C4 videos will do this in a new and creative way,” he said. “We’re counting on anybody who sees these videos to forward them; in other words we need everyone to be evangelists, we need everyone to pass these on to your email networks, Facebook networks; they will renew them and we hope they’ll pass them on.”
Harter described the second group as “Catholics who have drifted a bit away.”
“They’re the searching Catholics, the frustrated Catholics, as a way of re-proposing the faith in a way that might help them understand the richness that was already there,” he said.
“Culture and people in general” constitute the third target of the videos, according to Harter.
“They may have no faith, they may have faith of a different type or stirrings in the human heart toward God, but that’s why by using social media and the like we’re trying to get this message out to a broader culture. Such that we hit those three demographics,” he said.