A resource published by a Catholic media company aims to help people of all faiths to better understand the richness and beauty of the Mass, says the project's initiator.
The four-piece collection, published by Atlanta-based Thy Kingdom Come, is called "The Catholic Mass… Revealed!"
In this interview with ZENIT, the founder of Thy Kingdom Come and initiator of the project, Jim DuBos, comments on the resource.
Q: How did the idea for this initiative come about?
DuBos: "The Catholic Mass … Revealed!" is a reflection of my own conversion experience. I was raised a Catholic, but had stepped away from practicing my faith during college.
Many years later my father gave me a book on the Mass that showed photos of Fulton Sheen offering Mass with commentary.
Some 13 years later, while praying one morning, I remembered the gift of this book and how profoundly it affected my return to the Church. It significantly deepened my love and understanding of the beautiful gift of the Eucharist.
I knew God was calling me to do a work on the Eucharist and to provide a resource to the Church so that others might come to know Christ in a deeper way through the Mass.
Q: You sell the DVD, audio commentaries, a booklet and a music soundtrack as a single collection, and not separately. Are the four meant to be interactive? How do they interact?
DuBos: We chose to do a collection of materials instead of a single item because we all experience God in a unique way and at different times in our life.
Music touches some, video and written material for others. We sometimes come back to materials and get something new that perhaps we missed the first time, or God provides a grace that we need.
As an example: The commentaries are shorter on DVD, but extended on the CD, because you don't have the limitations of placing a corresponding visual.
Since there is more content, the listener can absorb more about the subject. Again, it allows God to work in a new way.
The book is written in a slightly exhortative tone to compel the reader to respond to a yearning that God has for each of us, again allowing God to work.
The chapter structure is common in the collection, but each piece has a slightly different approach and texture.
Q: What were the advantages, did you find, of explaining the Mass using multimedia resources?
DuBos: Since we were dealing with the most sacred of subjects in our faith, we felt compelled to use many different artistic expressions.
Technology had matured to the point where we could offer such a resource, in a cost effective, but very beautiful way.
Q: Young people often complain that the Mass is boring. Unauthorized liturgical experimentation in many parishes has also caused a series of problems. What role do you see for your DVD in overcoming these difficulties?
DuBos: First, we did not produce this collection to become the liturgical police. That was not our mission.
Yes, much could be said about the experimentation, and the damage done. We believe that when a resource like "The Catholic Mass … Revealed!" is used, knowledge and inspiration will affect much of what is done at the parish level in a very positive way.
Young people want the truth, and as Pope John Paul II demonstrated with World Youth Day, they will seek it out. This could be an excellent tool to help a young person renew or find their faith, just as was done for me.
Our deepest desire is that this resource is used to form small groups of people coming together to discuss the Mass and the Eucharist.
Q: Who wrote the commentaries on the Mass? Has the content received the support of the U.S. bishops?
DuBos: Over 40 people contributed to this project. We had a core team of five writers and two editors working on various parts of the collection.
A true symphony of gifts, talents and charisms came together to result in what you see. We had diocesan pastors and priests, educators, members of various associations and movements such as the Knights of Columbus, Opus Dei and Regnum Christi, canon lawyers, theologians, all with one aim: to present Christ and the holy Mass in the most beautiful, accessible and sacred way.
All who worked on this project simply love the Church and wanted to contribute to her evangelizing mission.
Since we are based in the Archdiocese of Atlanta, we sought permission to begin the project from Archbishop Wilton Gregory. He was very encouraging and a great leader.
He opened the door for us to work providing that if we were truly doing a work of God, that God would move the mountains. This type leadership and faith resulted in many people becoming involved and in a very beautiful way. Upon completion of the writing and editing process, we received a "nihil obstat" and an imprimatur for the book.
Q: A portion of the proceeds of the sales goes to help various apostolates, correct?
DuBos: Thy Kingdom Come Inc. was founded in the United States as a public charity. It is a media publishing company with the mission of creating works at the service of the Catholic Church.
To this end, we offer deep discounts to Church entities such as parishes, schools etc. Thanks be to God we have many parishes and schools signing up each day to take advantage of this offer.
We also offer a marketing program to Catholic associations and movements that promote our works within their evangelizing mission using discount codes.
Everyone benefits in this type of relationship.
Q: This is the first project of Thy Kingdom Come! Do you have more in mind?
DuBos: First, we are releasing some new materials based on "The Catholic Mass … Revealed!"
We will be licensing the liturgical music developed in the collection for use in a local parish setting. We hope to have this completed in the coming months.
We are finishing the Latin and English versions of each piece to give a music director an option of which language they want to use. As well, we will be offering some Windows screensavers and digital music for personal use.
We need to be sure that we meet the goal Christ intends for this project. We firmly believe Christ wants a renewal in love for the liturgy and the Eucharist.
We are also looking into the possibility of expanding this collection in various languages and global settings. We hope the possibility to partner with other publishing companies in various countries will present itself.
In regard to new works, much needs to be done relating to the sacramental rites of the Church and helping lay people understand them.
We also see that certain liturgical changes coming to the English translations of the liturgy will require some updates and will also spur a deeper need for good materials.
We are in a good position to help the Church in this regard and look forward to this moment.
We also expect that a renewed interest in the Tridentine Mass will present an opportunity to introduce new generations to the official language of the Church and the beauty it has to offer.
Finally, we are working with a wide variety of individual authors on a new Catholic podcast, books and music resources.