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Bishop’s reflections to ECHO the beauty and majesty of God’s world




Northwest Indiana Catholic


      MERRILLVILLE – Bishop Donald J. Hying believes it is very important, especially in preparation for next year’s first Diocese of Gary Synod, that every Catholic read the U.S. Catholic Catechism for Adults.

      To encourage the faithful to do just that, he is creating a series of professionally produced videos, ECHO, to lead his flock through the Catechism by offering a weekly reflection on each chapter by email from Sept. 14 through May, followed by a link to that chapter of the Catechism, and several questions to contemplate.

      “The more informed in their faith the people are, the more fruitful will be the (Synod) discussions,” Bishop Hying said as he prepared to film the second set of videos in California.

      “We are ‘priming the pump’ for the Synod,” added Sean Martin, diocesan director of Evangelization and Religious Formation. “This truly is a pilgrimage with Bishop Hying on the teachings of our faith.”

      The first set of videos, concentrating on the first pillar of the Catechism – The Creed: The Faith Professed – was filmed this spring in the Rocky Mountains of Colorado. “It was beautiful, but cold and there was still a lot of snow,” recalled the bishop. “It was the thought of the committee organizing the series to shoot the videos in spectacular settings of nature, artistically beautiful places, to attract attention” to the beauty of God’s creation.

      “The idea is that the world of the Church, the world of nature and the world of humanity is all one,” Bishop Hying added.

      The next set of videos, focusing on the second pillar – The Sacraments: The Faith Celebrated – will be filmed along the oceanfront in California. The setting matches “the depths of the mysterious ocean with the mysteries of our faith,” Martin said. Participants will “see the truth, beauty and goodness of the Lord, with Bishop Hying speaking the truth of our faith.”

      Martin said the videos, each about five minutes, are meant to make reading the Catechism “a more enriching experience, and more understandable.”

      The word catechesis comes from the Greek word “echo,” explained Bishop Hying. “When we catechize, just as Jesus echoes the Father, we echo to others what Jesus has revealed to us.”

      Videos on the third pillar of the Catechism – Christian Morality: The Faith Lived – will also be filmed in California, but among the majestic Redwood trees. “This pillar is about the Ten Commandments, morality and standing tall for our faith, and the Redwoods symbolize that,” Martin explained.

      Readers will be in for a surprise for the videos related to the fourth pillar – Prayer: The Faith Prayed – since the location is still being finalized. “It will be filmed in a beautiful basilica, but I can’t say which one,” Martin said with a hint of intrigue. “Stay tuned.”

      Bishop Hying, who is working on the series with friends from Ahava Productions, said the videos will not only appeal to the eye, but also the ear. “Erin Berghouse, of Ahava, is a musician and she is having original music by different artists written to draw people into the experience of God,” the bishop explained. “For the grand finale, there will be final concert of all the artists in the video.”

      The bishop’s words will be heard with “the beauty of God’s creation” in sight and sound, added Martin, leading Catholics to “know our faith, spread the Gospel and know and serve the Lord.”

      Admitting that the goal “would be (to have) every adult in the diocese signed up,” Martin said, “People from all over the country have already registered. The ultimate goal is (to have people) forming a relationship with God through multi-media.”

      “Once a week throughout the academic year, an email will be sent to you and you just watch the video and follow the link to read the chapter of the Catechism and a brief reflection,” Martin said. Realizing that “many adult Catholics have not continued forming themselves in the faith,” added the bishop, “The Catechism is a very learner-friendly tool – it takes you through your faith, beginning to end.”

      The videos, as they are released, will also be posted on the diocesan website (, to allow people to catch up if they miss any, while people can also sign up later for the emails, catching up on what they’ve missed on the website, Martin said.

      “This experience is an easy way to deepen our knowledge and love of our Catholic faith and draw us into the beauty of God’s world,” Bishop Hying said of ECHO.

Editor’s Note: To register for the ECHO series, go to the Diocese of Gary website,, click on the box in the right column of the home page that reads ECHO, then click on the box that reads “Register now” and fill out a brief form asking name, email address and hometown.

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