“Emmy” blesses “Good News”
This week the folks at the Emmy awards gave an Emmy for “Best Short Film” to “A New Way of Thinking”. I suspect they were probably just thinking of it being “good news” superbly presented. But the reality was more than what may have been in their consciousness.
Certainly, this film shared the “good news’” of hope and transformation of a man who has spent more time in prison than he had lived prior to his arrest and conviction at 19. But there is an untold back story of this production by Joyful Films in conjunction with the Central Association of the Miraculous Medal and the Eastern Province. This “good news” story is part of the “Good News’ of The Greatest Story Ever Told (I remember the1965 American epic film “The Greatest Story Ever Told” which was nominated for 5 Academy Awards.)
“A New Way of Thinking” is the story of how the Vincentian Fathers and Brothers of the Congregation of the Mission are translating the Gospels (Good News) into action. And that is what their “mission” is all about.
“In this wasteland, the Lord is committed to the regeneration of beauty and rebirth of hope: ‘Behold, I am doing something new: right now it is sprouting, don’t you see it?’ (Is 43:19). God never abandons his people, he is always close to them, especially when pain becomes more present.” As God declares to John in Revelation: “Behold, I make all things new” (Rev. 21:5). God knows the challenges we face and the loss and grief we feel.
This award-winning film illustrates in a small but powerful way how we can join in making all things new.
More good news
It is in this sense that the Emmy’s blessed the Good News. But the last two weeks of September marked more good news. The annual celebration of the feast of St. Vincent DePaul always brings joy to the hearts of all who have been shaped by his vision and example. This year included two other events.
On Sunday, September 27, at 12pm, at the Miraculous Medal Shrine in Philadelphia, PA, the Vincentians of the Eastern Province will celebrate by livestreaming Mass for the Feast of the Solemnity of Saint Vincent de Paul. Immediately following Mass, it will premier the new documentary “Ready and Able: A Vincentian Story.” Vincent would have been amazed… but delighted.
Following two newly ordained Vincentian Catholic priests during their first year of ministry, this candid documentary captures the joy of living a vocation, the challenges of serving others, and how to find hope in a pandemic.
In still more good news, thanks to the wonders of Zoom, Vocation Directors and others from 83 different locations from around the world met. As they spoke and listened, each in their in their own language thanks to simultaneous translation, they exchanged concerns and best practices in developing a culture of vocations for continuing the mission of St. Vincent.
The good news of a “21st century Pentecost moment.”
In a pastoral letter September 15, Bishop Michael Burbidge of Arlington, Virginia said the coronavirus pandemic has prompted advances in sharing the Gospel message digitally, leading the Church to a “21st century Pentecost moment.”
“God is with us. This is the message of hope that we want to shout from the rooftops, that we want to beam over the airwaves, that we want to put on the front page of our publications and post on our social media accounts. Emmanuel: God is with us,” Burbidge wrote Sept. 15, in a letter entitled, “In Tongues, All Can Hear.”
All the events described above demonstrate how Vincentians exemplify this “21st century Pentecost moment.”
PS I recommend his pastoral as one of the finest presentations of both the challenges and opportunities facing our mission at this dawn of the digital age.
Perhaps we can see here the many graces symbolized by the rays of the Miraculous Medal.
Click below for an audio version of this Vincentian Mindwalk