A focus for the St. Leo Evangelism Team is to create a wide variety of events and opportunities that will draw people into a deeper relationship with Christ. The goal is to offer fun opportunities for all parishioners to get involved and grow in their faith.
Parishioner Veronica Barney is a member of the team and the leader of the Movie Matinee Ministry. As the members of the Evangelism Team brainstormed some new concepts, they came up with the idea of using film as a medium to build community and learn about Christ’s life — and the Movie Matinee Ministry was formed.
“The group meets every second Sunday of the month at 2 p.m. for about an hour or two,” Veronica says. “We meet in the Gathering Room, which is a little bit more comfortable and intimate. Since we started the ministry, we have been watching The Chosen, a series that brings the Bible to life.”
The Chosen series creates storylines based on the Gospel, putting the spotlight on Jesus and the 12 Apostles, along with other key figures found in the Gospels like Mary, the mother of God, and Mary Magdalene. The series focuses on what it would be like to walk with Jesus and provides a unique perspective on how Jesus interacted with the Apostles in private and during the “down times” as they traveled from city to city.
“We just finished the second of three seasons,” Veronica says.
The ministry plans to continue to finish the third season before possibly moving on to a new series or movie.
“A great thing about The Chosen is that they provide discussion questions for each episode,” Veronica says. “We use these to lead a discussion with the group after we watch the show.
As Veronica notes, regular attendees have created a bond that has led to some great discussions.
“We have become a very open and respectful group — a real community of people who care for each other and pray for one another,” she says. “Relationships are so important. One of the major themes that have come up in discussions is how important it is to spend time with family and friends. We have found that this simple ministry has created an authentic community among our parishioners.”
Currently, the ministry averages about 10 to 15 people per viewing, but all are welcome to join the watch parties, including families. Snacks are always provided and there is time for introductions at the beginning of each meeting. Following each viewing, the group comes together to discuss their thoughts on the film and share their own experiences that relate to the moral of the episode.
“Although we are starting the third season, those who are joining for the first time and haven’t seen the show before would still get a lot out of it,” Veronica says. “The series follows the Gospels and you do not have to watch the episodes in order.”
The Movie Matinee Ministry is advertised in the bulletin and Fr. Don often mentions it during weekend Mass announcements. To join, all you need to do is show up!