On 20 August, the Diocese of Parramatta proudly announces its latest initiative – The Well.
In what can be described as ‘Netflix for Catholics’, The Well – www.thewell.org.au – is a new online platform that provides free, ‘on-demand’ inspiration for families, children, young people and faith communities.
Initially designed as a solution to supporting our faith whilst in lockdown due to the coronavirus pandemic, the Diocese of Parramatta quickly realised the longer-term potential of such a fluid, living library.
With over 80 (and growing) videos, podcasts and other online resources, at any time of day or night, you can watch and listen to:
- High-energy children’s shows;
- Information and reflections on the sacraments;
- Recordings of young musicians around the Diocese leading praise and worship;
- Thought-provoking discussions from local and international speakers;
- Inspirational sharing from young people and young women.
Bishop Vincent Long OFM Conv, Bishop of Parramatta, described The Well as being an initiative of the various ministries and agencies of the Diocese that responds to the “growing need for a strong Catholic presence online.”
“Through our work with our youth, with our parishes, and our councils, we have understood the importance of offering a relevant and engaging online space, and what is being offered seeks to support and complement the work of our faith communities, as we work together to share and grow our faith in Jesus Christ.
“In launching The Well, we recognise the Patron of the Diocese, St Mary of the Cross MacKillop, and her call to ‘never see a need without doing something about it’.
“Our hope is that it will be another way that people can connect with our Church, whether they attend Mass regularly, or are unable to, particularly at the current time of the pandemic.
“Our desire is for the content to both feature local communities as well as relate to the needs of our local people,” Bishop Vincent said.
The various agencies and ministries of the Diocese who contributed to The Well were able to gather to celebrate the launch of the project six months in the making.
Anthony Costa, Media Creative from the Institute for Mission, explained that in his role creating and producing content for The Well, he was honoured to have been able to journey alongside the ministries in sharing their mission with others.
“My mission has always been to use my skills and the gifts that God has given me to help other people with their missions, which has now widened to helping people with their ministry.
“The fact that we can have an even better presence, or another chance of presence of God in homes, among families, in schools and at workplaces – that’s what it’s all about.”
For Sr Mary-Louise Walsh, Liturgy Educator for the Office for Worship, collating resources appropriate for her ministry has been really important. Having them produced locally is an added bonus.
“We’ve had quite a bit of feedback already from parishes. They are so grateful to have resources available that speak to them, that are appropriate, and that parents enjoy as well” she said.
Inspired by online streaming platforms such as Netflix and Stan, The Well provides refreshment in our faith and an encounter with Jesus Christ, akin to his famous meeting with the Samaritan woman in the Gospels.
James Camden, Director of Catholic Youth Parramatta explained, “We’ve all had to do something a little differently this year. But we dug deep, and a new digital space was born.
“This is about bringing faith, joy and hope into a digital space, and then into your living room, workspace, or on the go,” he said.
Richard McMahon, Director of the Pastoral Planning Office, explained “Our Church is always called to be innovative in our mission, to go out into the deep, and this new service speaks to a mission field that is vital for us to be meaningfully present in the online world.”
You are invited to meet at The Well by visiting www.thewell.org.au