Airing on Saturday evenings following the Angelus/Regina Caeli, Archbishop Jerome hosts a new online programme titled “Old Romans Unscripted”!
The Archbishop was inspired by the trailblazing efforts of acquaintances Kevin Kallsen, George Conger and friend Gavin Ashenden whose programme “Anglican Unscripted” aired on YouTube has drawn interest from conservative Christians of all stripes for the past five years. The format is very simple, commentators discuss topics of the day or other subjects in an informal and “light-hearted” discussion and the occasional frank exchange of views. From ecclesiastical politics through civil politics, social commentary and personal devotion, religious stories in the Media and general philosophical or theological topics, the flexible format allows a great breadth and diversity of interesting perspectives and possibilities.
A long time fan of the Anglican version and having committed himself to broadcasting content at 6pm everyday during the Coronavirus imposed lock-down, the Archbishop has adapted the format to accommodate for his and others’ limited technological resources to create “Old Romans Unscripted”. The Archbishop hopes the medium will provide a way for Old Roman faithful around the globe to better know and understand each other’s perspectives and experiences in living the faith elsewhere in the world and provide an interesting way for enquirers and others to learn about Old Romans and our raison d’etre.
The first two episodes were broadcast April 2020, His Grace’s first collaborator being Father Thomas Gierke OSF a Franciscan friar in Chicago. Responding to the Archbishop’s appeal for vernacular broadcasts of Mass to serve the faithful during the global COVID19 pandemic, Fr Tom responded to broadcast his Masses in English. Fr Tom works in EMS – Emergency Medical Services – at Cook County Jail, one of the world’s largest prisons and prison populations, though at the moment the inmate population has been reduced to cope with the pandemic. Fr Tom broadcast his Mass at 5am every weekday via the Friary’s Facebook page before starting his twelve hour shift at the jail.
In the first two episodes, Fr Tom and Archbishop Jerome discussed the benefits and types of traditional private devotional practices that Old Romans may observe to deepen their understanding and appreciation for the liturgical seasons and the many graces available through them. Frank observations lamenting the differences in approach and attitude of contemporary Catholics to personal piety and pious customs in stark contrast with those of Old Romans are shared explaining the demise in spiritual growth and development affecting so many today and the negative impact on the Church’s witness to the Gospel that is having. Recommending particular devotions and resources to find traditional devotional materials, the clerics also share personal anecdotes and insights into the spiritual life.