I can finally tell you news that we have kept quiet for so long as we have gone through our inception and planning stages. We are not announcing what follows to everyone just yet, but as you are members of the Engine Room Prayer T.E.A.M. I would like you to know and I need your help in prayer.
I pray this finds you well. To those joining us for the first time, welcome.
The Engine Room T.E.A.M. is an international group of people who have committed to do the ‘work of prayer’ for The Catholic Guy Ministry in all of its various forms. For a number of years my father was the Chief Engineer on large ships that sailed the Mediterranean and Europe. He would often talk of his time below deck as being so important because if the engines did not run, the ship went nowhere.
Your prayer and intercession to God for His blessing upon this ministry is crucial. You are the Engine Room. We cannot do this without you.
The reason I refer to it as the ‘work of prayer’ is because it is a deliberate activity that takes time in your daily prayer and devotions and when you go to Church and to Mass to remember to intercede before God and ask His blessing upon what is happening, and the people involved in the ministry.
The Scripture is clear that we are engaged in a spiritual battle and while Jesus is victorious through the Cross and makes heaven accessible to all, a battle rages for the lives and eternal lives of people. With so much change in the world it is our children and people under 45 years of age who are struggling to connect with Church and being in relationship with God. This is where your prayers and efforts are so essentially needed.
T.E.A.M. stands for Together Everyone At Mission. We all have different roles to play and you are on the TEAM as someone whose prayer is critical.
In 2006 on a visit to the Vatican, I felt the urge to spend a day in prayer there. At the end of a long day I felt God prompt me to make a Catholic television program. My Archbishop and the Bishop responsible for media in Australia thought this was a good idea. With few resources the program began and to my surprise did very well. For over eleven years the program has not missed a week of being on television.
A couple of years ago, I was approached by a lawyer in the USA who represents many of the largest names in the Christian television world and asked if I would take our program to the USA. I had not considered this, just as I had not thought of being on television in the first place in Australia years before. It had been a God idea. After some discernment we felt it was worth testing. The results were stunning with reports that the response was as large if not larger than many Christian television programs in the USA.
I believe my calling from God is to reach people who feel disconnected from God. Showing the program in the USA meant that it would also be shown around the world and more people would be reached. I thought this was all I should do. This was fraught with challenges to ramp up to a much larger scale but with a great team behind me we were able to do it.
Just when you think you are settled!!!!
Just when you think you are doing all that you are meant to do, God says, “I have more for you.” The only reason a person is able to go to the next step in their spiritual life is because they took the step before.
Late last year, based on the success of the program, I was approached by our Media Attorney (lawyer) and asked if I would be interested in taking the approach of the program aimed at Catholics who are disengaged in Church or detached from Church and starting a Catholic Television and Media Network that would consist of television, radio, social media and through the new Over The Top digital media platforms that are fast becoming the future of all media. It would include a 24 hour, seven days a week Catholic Channel. The idea intrigued me greatly as this is something that I have spoken about in the past, but I had not said this to our Attorney.
You may have heard me speak on the concept of spiritual discernment, where God leads by the doors He opens and the doors He closes. While this may seem basic, it is the spiritual sensitivity to the voice of God where discerning the doors that are open and closed is the challenge.
We were barely settled with the program expanding when Rosemary and I began to hear and feel the persistent gentle voice of God saying, “walk this way.” All of you who have been serious about following the Lord know that voice that can ask both small and large things of us in life.
What has been good about The Catholic Guy program is that it has reached many people but not young people on the whole and, we did not expect it would. By having a channel, we can have younger people than me reach out to our young people through very specific programming. They will be more effective and relevant. Having said this, we also know that young people are no longer watching television in a linear manner, which means according to the timetable but instead on demand and online on their devices at the times it suits them.
We, therefore, are going to launch CATHOLIC TODAY Inspirational Lifestyle Television and Media Network. It will include a linear channel initially in English but in time other languages. This will be broadcast on the internet and through social media platforms plus the new ‘Over the Top’ platforms like Netflix, Google Play, Apple, Amazon Prime, etc thus reaching our young people. We will also have the Channel carried on cable and satellite services. We have also negotiated a radio station that will have the same name.
I have no interest in a general Christian television program or media Network as this is already done by others but only one that seeks to reach disconnected people or those seeking more and thus keep them involved in Church.
Attending Church on Sunday has been the place people have come to faith but if our young people are no longer attending Church where will they get that faith?
I have been around long enough to have had numerous parents say to me, “our children will be ok faith-wise. We are practicing Catholics, who are committed to our faith at home as well as going to Church each week. Some say we have sent our children to the right schools and we are careful with who their friends are and what they watch on television. They will be ok faith-wise.” As I say, I have been around long enough to have heard parents say this to me very emphatically only to see their children now in their late teens, twenties and thirties having nothing to do with Church at all and in some cases beginning to have children of their own and their children having no connection to Church from birth.
If they will not come to us, we must take Church to them. The media reaches people in their homes and onto their devices such as telephones like nothing else.
My discernment in this has been simple: “Lord if you make a way I will do it.”
The two elements we require to do this are experience and know how in the media world and the finance.
Both Catholic and Christian Television executives, producers of well know international television series and dozens of movies, lawyers, business strategists and Church media and evangelization people who have heard about this have offered their experience, wisdom and time.
This whole project is very difficult and challenging but I know with God’s help His perfect will, will come about.
To view the Attached Document that tells our story PLEASE CLICK on the light blue button below. It will take you to a full colour PDF that you can read or print. People ask who are we as a ministry and who am I and why am I doing this. This document seeks to answer these questions.
To be honest the odds are stacked hugely against us being successful. To be able to do this we have had to commit our whole team to this endeavour and all of our resources. You might say, “we have bet the farm.” It seems faith constantly asks exactly that of us, faith. That to walk more deeply and be obedient means at times to step out onto ‘air’ and trust we will not fall.
We could stay as a ministry doing what we are and we would reach many but if we step out onto ‘air’ and do this we will reach millions and millions all over the world but not by me alone but through many who will be given the chance to proclaim Christ but who right now do not have a platform. In particular younger women and men who can reach young people who have ceased being in Church will be given an opportunity like never before.
I could say so much more but there is more to read in the attachment.
You can share this with as many people as you wish. Please ask people of faith to pray.
If ever I have needed your prayer I need it now. (I feel I said that last time as well!!) I suppose this comes from trying crazy things over and over.
After you have read the document you can come back here and make a comment below or by email to BruceDownes@TheCatholicGuy.com
Rosemary and I, along with our staff, are grateful you are in the Engine Room being on the T.E.A.M.