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Diocese of Joliet Video Series (back)

Living For Freedom & In Freedom
2021 Lent & Easter Video Series

Living Lent in a fight for your own freedom is the goal we're setting out upon. How many of us simply go back to overeating, devouring chocolate, or even overdoing alcohol starting on Easter Sunday? Live this Lent differently. Then, when Easter arrives, you will have an opportunity to explore ways to live in the newfound freedom you fought so hard for this Lent.
Final Episode with John Ellison
April 21, 2021


In a paradoxical way, freedom can be used to choose more freedom... or to enter into bondage. John Ellison, a spiritual director in the Diocese of Joliet, shares his childhood best friend's story as an illustration of this conundrum.

How have you used your freedom this Easter season?

In this final episode of our Lenten/Easter series, John Ellison offers some spiritual direction that we might all benefit from as we consider the freedom for which Christ set us free.

Episode 8 with Fr. James Guarascio
April 14, 2021

Fr. James Guarascio is a diocesan priest and member of the Joliet Companions of Christ. In this Easter reflection, he demonstrates the power of sharing testimony... by sharing his own vocation story with you.

Sharing the stories of God's work in our own lives is not just a way to encourage and strengthen others to accept Christ's freedom, it also helps cultivate our own gratitude and remain free. Testimony, when done right, is a gift to both the storyteller and the receiver of the good news. God has been powerfully at work in your life, too, so share your story!

Episode 7 with Fr. Ryan Adorjan
April 7, 2021

Fr. Ryan Adorjan helps us discover true Easter freedom as he reflects on how Christ's resurrection changes - absolutely everything! We thank you for journeying with us through Lent into Easter, and we will continue to pray that you are able to walk in the freedom Christ won for you. It is the freedom of living as a son or daughter of the king.

Episode 6 with Fr. Steven Borello
March 31, 2021

On our Lenten journey, we are nearing the event that won our freedom forever. In this episode, Father Steven Borello places us in the Israelites' story at the cusp of entering into the Promised Land. In the middle of Holy Week, that's where we are right now also. But there's still a choice that must be made. Will God be your God? Will you enter into the freedom He has won for you?

We will continue with our next episode on Easter Wednesday!


Episode 5 with Fr. James Guarascio
March 24, 2021

Fr. James Guarascio, a diocesan priest and member of the Joliet Companions of Christ, provides a short reflection based on Numbers 14. At this point in the story, the Israelites have reached the Promised Land. But suddenly, upon seeing the strength of the inhabitants before them, they lose hope in God's promise to possess it. In our own fight for freedom from sin, we often feel like giving up right before a major breakthrough. Does the next step seem insurmountable? If so, remember that we're not alone--it's God who fights for us! We are beloved children of God, and God is faithful to the Covenant He made to love and bless us. It is all part of our journey toward learning to fight for our freedom from sin.


Episode 4 with Fr. Max Behna
March 17, 2021

Fr. Max Behna, a diocesan priest and member of the Joliet Companions of Christ, provides a reflection based on Exodus 32. In this chapter, we learn that the Israelites are worshiping a golden calf while Moses is away receiving the Ten Commandments. We've all fallen very short of God's commands, and Fr. Max has shared in that familiar experience of feeling poverty and unworthiness before God. But like the Israelites, we have a mediator! Fr. Max has a suggestion to interject this Lent with a powerful experience of living for freedom.


Episode 3 with Fr. Ryan Adorjan
March 10, 2021

Fr. Ryan Adorjan, whose remarks surround Exodus 15 in this video, is a priest of the Diocese of Joliet and a highly sought-after speaker. In this reflection, he reviews a series of complaints that proceeded from the tired and thirsty Israelites who felt God was not providing for them in the desert. We see this pattern throughout Exodus: a pattern of complaining and provision. But in this episode, Fr. Ryan challenges us to review our own patterns of trusting God vs. complaining against Him. And what are those core beliefs underneath our shifting trust? If you're feeling thirsty in the desert of this Lent and wondering where God is in your journey, pray and ask others to pray for God's provision. There is a river in the rock!


Episode 2 with John Ellison
March 3, 2021

In Episode 2 of our Lenten/Easter video series, spiritual director, John Ellison, unpacks the emotional experience of Exodus 14. The Israelites were trapped between Egypt's army and the Red Sea. Death seemed imminent and unavoidable. Even if you haven't been face-to-face with almost certain death, you can probably relate to the Israelites' experience of a desperate situation and how they interpreted it. Many of us have also felt trapped and afraid at times: perhaps trapped in a job, a relationship, a habitual sin, or even a state of mind. But if we're being honest, our natural response to feeling trapped isn't always in line with God's promises. There is another option besides fight, flight, or freeze, as John will explain.

Episode 1 with Fr. Steven Borello
Diocesan Video Series Intro
February 24, 2021

Begin this journey with Fr. Steven Borello, vocations director of the Diocese of Joliet. You'll also meet some familiar and not-so-familiar faces along the way. Each of our speakers in this Lenten/Easter series will journey with you through some major points in the Exodus story. Then, you will see them again after Easter for a pep talk and tips for staying free.

Next Wednesday, we'll hear from John Ellison, a convert and seasoned spiritual director who has walked alongside many people in the desert of their life into the promised land of interior freedom.