Just watching the promo video for The Wild Goose video series gets my heart pounding with excitement for what is to come! This past weekend at Mass our readings were centered on the Holy Spirit as we celebrated Pentecost. If only the people sitting in the pews could comprehend the power behind those words, our churches would be much more vibrant and alive. The Holy Spirit wants to come upon each one of us in the same way He did for the apostles, but often that is a difficult concept for us to wrap our minds around. This is precisely why Fr. Dave Pivonka and 4pmMedia have decided to produce a series of 14 videos to lead us into a deeper understanding of what it means to have a personal relationship with the Holy Spirit.
I had the honor of interviewing Fr. Pivonka in order to learn more about the The Wild Goose series. Having grown up listening to Fr. Pivonka speak at several Franciscan University of Steubenville youth retreats, I knew that I was in for a treat. Fr. Pivonka did not disappoint. In the few minutes we talked, I felt as if I had just been on a retreat. He is truly a man filled with the Holy Spirit which makes him the perfect person to bring Catholics to a deeper understanding of the Spirit.
“The Wild Goose was a term that the ancient Celts had for the Holy Spirit. From the first time I heard this it stirred something in my heart. Yes, there is a wildness to the Holy Spirit. The dominant images of the Holy Spirit are a meek dove or a flickering flame of a candle, both of which are in one way accurate. But the Holy Spirit is more than that. God’s Spirit is power and blows not merely like a gentle breeze but at times like a raging wind. Sometimes, this power makes us nervous. We like the idea of the Holy Spirit as a flame on a candle but a raging fire often causes anxiety. Our first instinct is to get it under control. It’s hard to control a wild goose; believe me, I know.
In the 19th Chapter of Acts, St Paul meets a group of disciples who “have never heard of the Holy Spirit” (v.2). I’ve long been convinced that too many people today have the same sentiment as the people St. Paul encountered. Sure, perhaps most have heard something of the Holy Spirit, but their experience of the Holy Spirit is very limited. The idea of God wanting us to encounter the Holy Spirit, to have a relationship with the Holy Spirit is a foreign concept for far too many people”. (taken from the Wild Goose website)
“Pope Francis has given many times over the last few months an invitation to not forget the Holy Spirit. So many Catholics are leaving the Church , but a relationship with the Spirit will allow us to remain in Jesus. We have largely forgotten the Holy Spirit. The consequences have been that people have just wandered away. There is no sense of rootedness. The Spirit convicts us of the truth. We live in a society that has lost any sense of the truth. One of the goals of the Holy Spirit to convict us in the truth. When we look at what ails so many people in the Church it is a lack of a relationship with Christ and the Holy Spirit animates that relationship. What will fix so many of our problems is a deeper relationship with Holy Spirit who will animate our relationship with Christ. It wasn’t until the apostles experienced the presence and a baptism of the Holy Spirit, the Pentecost experience, that they were actually able to live the faith that Jesus had been speaking of.”
“Each segment is about twenty-five minutes. Fifteen minutes of teaching, followed by interviews with every day people – a stay at home mom, an executive, a banker, a youth minister, a bishop- diverse people experiencing and living life in the Holy Spirit. Very, very different stories, but the common theme of surrendering to the Holy Spirit, this active relationship with the Holy Spirit and the ability to respond to what the Spirit of God wants them to do.” Some of the segments will include: God’s Love Poured Out, The Breath of God, Spirit and the Eucharist. There will also be a pdf file made available with a study guide for this free video series”.
“4pm Media is a Catholic production company out of Alabama. Daniel Johnson from 4pm media tells us, “4PM simply exists to help bring about an encounter with Christ. In John 1:39 Jesus invited the two apostles to “come and see.” This is the encounter and this is the invitation. We look to bring people to this encounter and invitation through beautiful and compelling stories.” 4pm has worked on several other compelling projects. They will be traveling with Fr. Pivonka as he goes throughout the country to “get a sense of the movement of the Holy Spirit.” The Wild Goose will be filmed at various locations throughout the country from New York to California”.
“Motivation for this is to reach the young people through social media and reach out to a population that largely lives there. This is why I wanted to do the Kickstarter and make the videos available for free. So many of the our Protestant brothers and sisters do wonderful things and put it out there for free. We want to provide this material to Catholics so they don’t have to worry about paying for it.”
“My main desire is that people come to experience a relationship with the Holy Spirit. That the Holy Spirit is not simply something that one experiences once at Confirmation or at Baptism, but that it is sustained relationship that leads us and awakens us to Jesus. I’m more and more convinced that too many people are trying to live this life apart from the Holy Spirit. It’s not possible. It simply isn’t possible. All that Christ did and said doesn’t make any sense apart from the Holy Spirit.”
After watching the promo video and reading through this interview with Fr. Pivonka, my prayer is that you are as excited about The Wild Goose video series as I am. It sounds like a much needed approach to awakening our Church to the power that the Holy Spirit can bring.
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