BY CATHERINE DURAND
The Rev. Robert Barron, creator of the well-known “Catholicism” documentary series, will be releasing a new series this year entitled “Catholicism: The New Evangelization.”
This new series, focusing on Catholicism around the world, will show how lay people practice their religion and what their faith means to them. It will be released by Barron and the organization Word on Fire.
“Throughout history, the call of Christ has sent people to the corners of the earth with a message of great joy, a message that has built civilizations, inspired cultures and even sent some to prisons and to their graves,” reads the Word on Fire website. “We have the same call – that’s the New Evangelization.”
Barron has been involved in many evangelization projects, including the documentary series about the Catholic faith, “Catholicism.” It received a Christopher award for excellence, an award which salutes media that affect a mass audience positively. This first documentary of Barron’s was a 10-part series that aired on PBS and focused on educating the public about the Catholic faith. “Catholicism: The New Evangelization” will be a continuation of this, but will focus more on the actions people take with their faith.
“With the original ‘Catholicism’ series, Fr. Barron took us on a journey around the world deep into the Faith,” reads the Word on Fire website, adding that “Catholicism: The New Evangelization” will be about experiencing faith in action.
Word on Fire Catholic Ministries, the global media ministry founded by Barron, will be working with him to release this new documentary series. One of the organization’s goals is to reach millions of people by utilizing the tools of “new media” to draw people into or back to the Catholic faith. It also claims to place “an emphasis and urgency on the use of contemporary forms of media and innovative communication technologies.”
New media is a term that refers to the developing web- and mobile-based media, including social media such as facebook or twitter, as well as application-based news for mobile devices.
According to the Word on Fire website, Barron was ordained in 1986 and is a priest of the Archdiocese of Chicago. In 1982, he received a master’s degree in philosophy from the Catholic University of America and received a doctorate in sacred theology in 1992 from the Institut Catholique de Paris.
Barron is currently the Rector/President of Mundelein Seminary University of St. Mary of the Lake in Illinois. In 1992, he was appointed to Mundelein Seminary’s theological faculty, has served as a visiting professor at the University of Notre Dame and the Pontifical University of St. Thomas Aquinas, and was at the Pontifical North American College at the Vatican as a scholar-in-residence.
The Word on Fire website adds that, along with this work, “Father Barron works with NBC News in New York as an on-air contributor and analyst. He is also a frequent commentator for the Chicago Tribune, FOX News, CNN, EWTN, Our Sunday Visitor, the Catholic Herald in London, and the Catholic News Agency.”
Barron has also published a number of books, essays and DVDs and has done a great deal of lecturing, including at the Pontifical North American College at the Vatican and the Pontifical University of St. Thomas Aquinas in Rome.