"Break the Chains" with some young clergy, the Daughters of St Paul and Blessed Giacomo Alberione

Today is “Day 10 praying to #BreakTheChains of pornography.” This is an idea thought up by Fr Cassidy Stinson, a recently ordained priest who put it like this:
It is also worth looking through the thread and indeed following Father Stinson’s Twitter feed @TheHappyPriest He has followed up with an update thread after the first week of the movement.

What to do

During the first week, #BreakTheChains has gathered momentum with many young people agreeing to pray, offer sacrifice, and encourage one another. There is no pledge to commit to a specific set of prayers, although quite a number of people seem to be choosing so recite the rosary. This is fitting because the “chain” of the Rosary is a good way to break the chain of enslavement to unchastity which has caught up so many people.

The #BreakTheChains campaign recognises the power that pornography exercises over many people who have become addicted to it. The sophistication and technical skill which is used in the production of obscene materials creates greater temptation for people than ever before. This new movement started by a young priest, supported by his brother priests and many young lay friends, is the kind of encouragement that is needed by very many people and the kind of encouragement that is given with great effectiveness by the young. May God bless Father Cassidy and his good friends.

A co-operative Podcast

One immediate fruit of the campaign has been a crossover podcast with Big Tree and Vici Mundum. Big Tree is a media evangelisation initiative of Theological College.* (For English and other readers, I do need to acknowledge that there is actually more than one Theological College in the world, so I must specify that I am referring to “Theological College” at the Catholic University of America in Washington in the District of Columbia which of usually abbreviated to “DC”.) Vici Mundum is “A Podcast Ministry of Our Lady of Mount Carmel Catholic Church in Newport News, VA” (For English readers, VA refers to Virginia. It was named after Queen Elizabeth I on the suggestion of Sir Walter Raleigh. [That's enough silly English clarifications. Ed])

The Podcast is: Ep. 15: #BreaktheChains [Fr. Cassidy Stinson & Austin Farinholt] and can be found at that link or on your favourite podcast host. It is just under an hour long.

Big Tree is an initiative of the Alberione Project which began at Theological College* as a formation project for Catholic seminarians wanting to proclaim the gospel using modern means of communications. The Alberione Project works in co-operation with the Daughters of St Paul (known by their hashtag as the “#MediaNuns”) who also work effectively on Twitter and elsewhere, giving a heart-lifting sense of Christian joy in their apostolate.


In an illustration of how these apostolates can work in conjunction and reinforce the promotion of the gospel, a friend of Fr Stinson recently came up with another viral hashtag. Seminarian John De Guzman @JohnDeGuzzy of Theological College* came up with the simple idea that people use the hashtag #BreviaryViews to post photos of a breviary in the place where they are praying the office. This began as a fun way to share views of idyllic places to pray the breviary but has mushroomed into a major catalyst for people to begin saying the divine office. John has been the subject of an article at Aleteia: The seminarian and story behind a viral Catholic hashtag, #BreviaryViews.

The #BreviaryViews hashtag has a natural affinity with the #BreaktheChains in that people can pray the office to help others break free from unchastity. Such providential concurrences are of course not unknown to the saints. Within this kind of apostolate, there is the example of Blessed Giacomo Alberione who founded the the Daughters of St. Paul and several other congregations, with the specific apostolate of promoting the gospel by modern means of communications.

Deacon Antony Ferguson @Artferg who is one of the co-founders of the Alberione Project (and, you guessed it, another student for the Diocese of Richmond VA and member of Theological College*) gives us a fascinating nugget about Blessed Giacomo Alberione. Apparently, in 1921, Blessed Giacomo bought printing presses from a company that was going out of business. Its former specialisation was pornography.


From time to time, good clergy coalesce as brothers-in-arms in that spiritual battle to which we are all called, and have a significant positive impact on the life of the Church in a given place. Fr Stinson and his friends among the young clergy, religious and laity from Richmond and roundabouts, seem to have a gift for promoting the faith through the online apostolate in a manner that would be dear to the heart of their favourite beatus, Blessed Giacomo Alberione. May God bless their work, may St Michael protect it, and may Blessed Giacomo smile on them.

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