Creation of the Week 60 - Joe Pelletier - Unleash the Gospel Video: "Reading the Bible"

It seems like everywhere we turn, we see division, pain, and darkness. Even inside the Church itself, we’re constantly confronted with examples of human brokenness and the the pain that that brings in its wake. It can feel like the work we do in evangelization isn’t enough, and isn’t making a difference. But if we look around we find that we’re not alone, and that there are lots of positive things happening in the Church. Unleash the Gospel is a prime example.

If you haven’t heard of Unleash the Gospel, you should really check them out. It’s an evangelization program started by the Archdiocese of Detroit that has been making waves due to their cutting-edge approach to the New Evangelization. With their website, videos, magazine, and other means of outreach, they have created a powerhouse for spreading the joy of the gospel. This week we have the unique opportunity to study one of the pieces created by their team, and learn a bit more about one of the talented individuals behind it.

I’m speaking specifically about the piece that AOD did featuring Fr. Mario Amore on how to approach reading Sacred Scripture. You you can view it here:

I find this particular piece is remarkable in several ways, very much in keeping with the achievements of the program as a whole. The motion graphics work is intricate, clean, modern, and adds a great visual aid to the commentary, without distracting from it. Making the processes of scriptural exegesis available and relatable is a daunting task, but the combined simplicity and precision of the writing of this piece, combined with that spot-on visual storytelling, make this a unique and compelling accomplishment.

I reached out to Joe Pelletier, who made the video, because I wanted to understand more about the Unleash the Gospel program, and about the individuals who are working to make that vision a reality. Here’s what Joe kindly sent me:

I work in the Communications Department for the Archdiocese of Detroit as one of a three-man video team. With such a small crew we get to wear many hats and work in everything from on-set video production to editing and post-production to motion graphics.

This project in particular is part of an ongoing series featuring Fr. Mario Amore, pastor of St Aloysius Parish in downtown Detroit, giving his personal reflections on common questions Catholics and non-Catholics may have.

The idea behind producing motion graphics on top of the recorded audio (as opposed to simply releasing the audio track on its own) is to give as much visual aid to the audience as possible given the sometimes complex nature of the topics. Some of the themes lend themselves well to visual accompaniment and others are a bit more abstract so it’s always a creative challenge trying to find the best way to present. I draw a lot of inspiration from the St. Joseph Baltimore Catechism books, which are absolutely brilliant in illuminating theologically deep concepts in simple illustrations.

In a way this series embodies the spirit of the Unleash the Gospel movement happening in the Archdiocese of Detroit. If we can present the world with simple, easily digestible kernels of truth packaged in an engaging presentation, we’ve provided them with an attractive shallow entry point into the ocean of God’s richness.

Some of my fondest childhood memories involve watching old James Stewart and Bing Crosby films with my grandfather. Those classic movies are so rich in virtue and demonstrate the incredible potential of the visual mediums, film in particular, as a force for good. From an early age I was hooked.

Being husband to an amazing young woman and father to a curious one year old boy has helped me to realize that, as Samwise put it, there is indeed good in this world and it is worth fighting for. Beauty, truth and goodness will always be worth fighting for.

I’m a bit on the quiet side so I couldn’t be more blessed than to be able to share the treasures of the Catholic faith through art and hopefully spark in someone else the same feelings of joy and hope I experienced as a little boy watching “The Bells of St. Mary’s” and “It’s a Wonderful Life.
— Joe Pelletier

I think anyone can benefit from Joe’s example, and from what Unleash the Gospel is doing. He is very good at what he does, and his faith provides the rock-solid foundation for his life and work in evangelization. If you haven’t checked out what Unleash the Gospel is doing, it’s worth taking a look at, and imitating. These guys are on the front lines of evangelization today, working to spread the light of the gospel in a world that seems to be growing more and more dark.

So if you feel like your work isn’t making a difference, or if it feels like a drop in the ocean of problems that surround us, take courage, and keep fighting. Don’t be afraid to let your light shine, because it’s nothing less than the light of Christ light shining within you.

The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness cannot overcome it.
— John 1:5

Feel free to contact Joe or check out the Unleash the Gospel website to learn more.

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by Nik Sternhagen

Marketing Specialist at Catholic Support Services