Incredible Growth From A Mustard Seed

We are all familiar with the parable from Matthew’s Gospel wherein Jesus tells us “The kingdom of heaven is like a grain of mustard seed which a man took and sowed in his field.” This seed is often used as an analogy for the work we undertake with faith that God will help a good thing grow.

And indeed, here at Paradisus Dei, we have witnessed increasing faith bearing great fruit. This fall, we will reach a milestone: 100,000 men who have taken part in TMIY! Think of the population of a healthy-sized city where every single person had grown in their relationship with the Lord!

The growth of the mustard seed is not the end of the story, you know. Christ goes on to tell us “it is the smallest of all seeds, but when it has grown it is the greatest of shrubs and becomes a tree, so that the birds of the air come and make nests in its branches.” In other words, the seed does not stay the same – it becomes a tree that is a home for others.

Similarly, the many men, women, and young people who have been transformed by Paradisus Dei programs are changing the world around them. Men are becoming better leaders, resulting in healthier relationships with God, their wives, and their families. Marriages are becoming more joyful, thus strengthening the family and their wider community. Young people are finding the answer to tough questions, entering adulthood with the seeds of faith.

Paradisus Dei is not only concerned with learning about the faith—though that’s important too. It is about helping people around the country discover the superabundance of God. 100,000 is a great start, but it doesn’t begin to reflect the number of people who have been touched by loved ones who have attended our programs.

We hope and pray that 100,000 is just the beginning!

If you are ready to start your parish’s journey with one of our programs please let us know by email at info@paradisusdei.org.

Paradisus Dei Ventures into New Space(s)

With a sense of profound gratitude, Paradisus Dei fully embraced the blessings and benefits of two new spaces this May – digital and physical.  Digital refers to the launch of a completely redesigned website, and physical refers to the official blessing of the brand new Paradisus Dei offices.  These new spaces greatly increase the ministry’s capacity and effectiveness.

Simplicity. Engagement. Action.

Those three words define the intended user experience at www.paradisusdei.org.  This approach originates from Paradisus Dei’s mission: to help couples and families discover the superabundance of God.  This discovery happens through experience. The website’s design quickly funnels users to the type of experience they want to have. And past participants in Paradisus Dei programs have proven that experience ultimately leads to action!

A new platform underpins this website, bringing with it all of the latest technology.  That translates into a more enjoyable user experience, more ways for the ministry to stay in relationship with our website community and easy expansion over time.  Website users will appreciate such conveniences as videos that play on-page instead of linking to outside pages, multiple on-page options for asking questions or requesting information, easy-to-download resources and fluid site navigation. The new platform supports an interactive, step-by-step program overview, including how to get started, downloadable program samples and FAQs for each ministry and program.

All of these features come into play through four primary categories: Experience It, Live It, Share It, and Fund It.  These categories represent the options for engaging with Paradisus Dei and form the foundation for the website.

  • Experience It – provides information on how users can experience Paradisus Dei. Ministries, programs, events and other options are presented.  The Choice Wine, That Man is You!, Hope Undimmed and the Mother Daughter Retreat are explored in great detail.
  • Live It – provides information on how users can continue to live their faith. The 7 Steps are presented, along with video reinforcement and practical suggestions for how to live each step daily.  A weekly video reflection series is offered. And partnerships to help users live their faith are highlighted.
  • Share It – provides options for users to share their experience. Downloadable resources provide a starting point for sharing with Friends and Family, Church and Diocese and Local Conferences.  Users can also share their story with us, join the Mission Outreach team or hear others’ stories.
  • Fund It – provides information for users on how to financially support the mission and work of Paradisus Dei. No donation is too small, and options for monthly giving and Paradisus Dei’s giving levels are explored.  Contact information for the development team is provided for further conversation.

This new website allows Paradisus Dei to engage the online community in support of actual communities – families, churches and dioceses.  But the work doesn’t stop here.  Phase 2 of the website project – conversion and improvement to the parish implementation web tools – will launch in June with completion expected in October 2017.

 

Giving Elbows More Room to Work

Earlier this year, Paradisus Dei moved into new offices off of Richmond Avenue in the Westchase area of Houston.  These offices were custom designed to meet the needs of the growing ministry.  Final work was completed this spring, allowing for the official office blessing to take place earlier this month.

As an international Catholic lay ministry dedicated to helping families discover the superabundance of God, it was critical to start the time in the new space the right way.  Cardinal DiNardo graciously accepted the invitation to preside at Mass and officially bless the new space.  The significance of this event mirrors the significance of the space for the ministry.

The reason for referring to it as “the space” is due to the fact that it contains more than just offices.  Some of the highlights include:

  • Chapel – this beautiful space provides the appropriate atmosphere for the Paradisus Dei team to “give God some of their time,” throughout the day, where the Paradisus Dei family, past and present, is remembered in prayer.
  • Collaborative spaces – a large conference room, small conference room and casual meeting room provide the spaces for creative collaboration, where various teams can meet separately, but at the same time.
  • Professional workspaces – meeting the diverse needs of the growing team, these spaces include deluxe cubicles, offices and a dedicated workroom. Elbows with appropriate room to work get more done!
  • Studio – connected to the office space, having an onsite studio is an incredible blessing for the ministry. As this is being read, Steve Bollman and the team are filming a new year of TMIY, literally feet from their offices.
  • Editing Suite – connected to the studio and boasting the space needed for group viewing of content, the Editing Suite will the production process more collaborative, creative and effective as a result.
  • Storage – dedicated, onsite, but closed off storage keeps the clutter away from the other purpose-driven spaces. The staff is especially grateful not to share their knee-room with boxes, and that makes a difference!
  • Room to grow – the icing on the cake is that all of the above was done with an eye toward continued growth. Whether it be people, projects, processes or technology, the new space will serve the ministry well for years to come.

These new spaces, and the blessings and benefits that accompany them, allow Paradisus Dei to better fulfill its mission to help families discover the superabundance of God, to better serve couples and families.  You are invited to continue to be a part of this essential mission.  Contact us to learn more, or visit www.paradisusdei.org.