April 10, 2024 at 12:36 p.m.

THE POWER OF ONE HOUR

Diocese set to release instructive, five-part video series on the Mass
“The Power of One Hour” video series, the brainchild of the diocesan Communications Department, will break the Mass down into five 15-minute videos: Mass Prep, Introductory Rites, Liturgy of the Word, Liturgy of the Eucharist and Communion & Concluding Rites. (iStockphoto.com)
“The Power of One Hour” video series, the brainchild of the diocesan Communications Department, will break the Mass down into five 15-minute videos: Mass Prep, Introductory Rites, Liturgy of the Word, Liturgy of the Eucharist and Communion & Concluding Rites. (iStockphoto.com)
(Getty Images)

By MIKE MATVEY | Comments: 0 | Leave a comment

How much do you know about the Mass?

For example, what do the priest’s vestments mean?

Why do priests kiss the altar?

Why do we stand, sit and kneel?

Well, a new video series from the Diocese of Albany plans to answer those questions and a lot more!

“The Power of One Hour” video series, the brainchild of the diocesan Communications Department, will break the Mass down into five 15-minute videos: Mass Prep, Introductory Rites, Liturgy of the Word, Liturgy of the Eucharist and Communion & Concluding Rites.

Each video, which includes a study guide for adults and kids as well as an introduction from Bishop Edward B. Scharfenberger in the first installment, features priests throughout the Diocese of Albany talking about specific parts of the Mass. Some of the priests featured in the series include: Father Stephen Yusko, Father Dan Quinn, Father Sam Bellafiore, Father Rendell Torres, Father Kofi Amissah, Father Scott VanDerveer and Father Matthew Wetsel. During each video, the priests will also answer questions from the faithful.

The video series will be unveiled at a special Power of One Hour Premiere event on Wednesday, April 17, at the University at Albany Recital Hall, in the Performing Arts Center (1400 Washington Ave., Albany). Doors open at 5 p.m. with light food. The premiere viewing begins at 5:45 p.m. RSVPs are recommended but not required. You can RSVP to [email protected] with RSVP in the subject line. Include name and title/affiliation for each person attending. The series then will launch on April 17 on its own dedicated website: rcda.org/powerofonehour.

The genesis of the idea goes back to 2022, said Kathy Barrans, diocesan communications director, who was chatting with her staff one day about what they could do to promote the faith. Video seemed like the perfect idea as Barrans used to work at WNYT-13 and Emily Hampton, who used to work in the communication department and now works at St. Mary’s in Glens Falls as the communications director and next generation coordinator, was a news photographer at WRGB-6.

“We were talking about what we could do video-wise and the idea came up about trying to get a grant. The (United States Conference of Catholic Bishops) has grants and I said what will it hurt to try? But we had to pick a project,” Barrans said. “Tom Cronin (diocesan director of Evangelization & Strategic Planning) was building up all the young adult groups and Emily was attending and she said I know people keep saying that they want to see more young people at Mass. Maybe we do something on the Mass, why is Mass so important?

“Emily came up with (the concept) “Sunday: The Power of One Hour” and then we morphed it into “The Power of One Hour” because you can go to Mass any day of the week.”

Hampton wrote the grant, something she had never done before, and by January 2023, the USCCB’s Catholic Communication Campaign greenlit the project with the grant.

“We developed the grant by saying we were going to develop this for use within our parishes but also to create something that could be used nationally so it is not going to be specific to Albany,” Barrans added.

With the grant, Barrans was able to hire a production team — Sheehan Productions, which consists of the husband-and-wife team of Tim and Genina Sheehan — that was recommended to her by the late-Father David LeFort.

“I had laid out an outline for my hopes for the series and then (Sheehan Productions) brought it to life,” Barrans said. “We lined up interviews with the priests and I tried to pull in some of the younger priests, priests you don’t hear about or see all the time. No. 1, so as not to overtax those who do so much already but also to let people see some of the other faces in the Diocese.”

Although the idea was to educate people returning to or who are new to the faith, Barrans says it is a great refresher for anyone.

“It started with the idea to gear it toward younger adults, to try to get them interested in coming back to Mass and renewing or maybe just introducing the importance of Mass, the significance of it, what a blessing it could be,” she said. “But then as it started going, I am learning things by doing this, the husband-and-wife production team are learning things. It just became something that is really open to anybody. 

“You could sit at home and think I go to Mass every Sunday, I’m a regular practicing Catholic. but you could watch it and learn something from it. People who are just coming into the faith can watch it, you could use it when you are teaching about the faith for RCIA or faith formation. I think it increases the appreciation for what we do and why we do it.”


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