And when I say "fired-up" I truly mean fired-up. In reading their messages and watching their videos, you can't help but acknowledge that these blessed folks are on fire with the love of Christ.
Intrigued, I reached out the this group in the hopes to learn more about them. They were kind enough to allow me an interview. I'm sharing it for your benefit. Get to know this intrepid group! They aim to set fire to the hearts of all they meet!
What is the Archangelati?
The Archangelati is an online coalition of faithful Catholics seeking to educate and clarify the true doctrine and beliefs of our beautiful Catholic and Apostolic Church. Often, this is achieved by our works involving the refutation of age-old heresies and attempts to convert the hearts of all people through New Evangelical and Apologetic means.
This means that we work to not only convert non-Catholics but also to strengthen the faith and devotions of our fellow Catholic brethren.
Why the name "Archangelati" and not something like "Angels of Evangelization?"
The personal devotions of the co-founders to the seven Archangels (particularly St. Michael) was highly influential upon our decision. We wanted to counter the anti-Catholic sentiments that many faithful Catholics are aware of. We chose to parody the famous anti-Catholic conspiracy group called the Illuminati.
Like the Archangels, we seek to bring the True Faith and all its messages to the common people, as well as promote respect and a true understanding of Catholicism. It seemed natural to combine our sentiments int a single, new word with ancient roots - much like our group, we are "new" but our message of Faith is not.
Did you begin as a loose collective of YouTube friends or blogging partners? How did the idea of an Archangelati spring forth?
Many of us were responding to the call of Christ (as well as Pope Benedict XVI) to evangelize and spread Christ's love, patience and understanding where the Holy Spirit directs us. In these increasingly secular times, there is a deep need for a return to tradition, a return to the Church, and a return to God.
There were many individuals seeking to fill this need independently. After exchanging tips and working alongside these faithful Catholics, we began to develop a bond and decided to create a supportive community for online Catholics.
What was your vision for the Archangelati when you first began? Has it changed since membership began growing?
We are always changing and growing in order to meet the needs of God's children. For some of us, that means keeping open dialogues with obstinate Protestants, for others that means attempting to bring back lukewarm and "former" Catholics, and for some it may simply mean supporting and praying for our other members.
Can you explain something of the formation process?
We allow each member to respond to God's call and enter provided that they are actually Roman Catholic and in full communion with the Holy Mother Church. After a few slightly comical misunderstandings, a few heretical infiltrations, and much deliberations between the co-founders, we decided that it was necessary that each new member fully understand and openly profess a true Apostolic and Catholic faith.
Something I found absolutely fascinating about your intro video is your decisive call to action. You specifically challenge Roman Catholics to "Reclaim Catholicism." Can you expound on this?
The media has demeaned and demonized Catholicism - everything from accusation of being a cult and having "sexy nuns" to the possibility of "Pro-choice Catholics" and unbalanced reports regarding the priest scandals. There are so many misunderstandings about what Catholicism truly is. We want all Catholics to live faithfully in perfect union with Scripture, Sacred Tradition and the Magisterium of the Church. We want all Catholics to be unafraid to openly label themselves as Catholics. We want the next generation of Catholics to inherit an environment of tolerance and to be proud of our True Church and all its teachings.
In your Wiki description, you cite your adherence to a more "traditional" approach to Catholicism, rejecting more "progressive" interpretations. Can you tell me more about your ideas on traditional vs. progressive Catholicism?
Since our One True Church is based on Holy Scriptures, Sacred Tradition and the Magisterium, it is only in the preservation of these teachings that we can truly find communion with the Godhead. As a group, we tend to hold that progressive Catholicism tends to take away the importance of the sacraments and the spirituality that derives from it. In the attempt to "modernize" the faith, some have fallen into the trap of "Protestantizing" their understanding of Catholicism. This is not true Catholicism. You cannot be pro-choice and Catholic. You cannot reject the Immaculate Conception or Papal Infallibility and still be Catholic. Tradition is at the heart and core of Catholicism as even the Bible instructs us to "hold fast to Tradition." (2Thess 2:15)
Being that you're a traditional group of younger Catholics, do you feel a calling to engage youthful Catholics through media that are more in-tune with their experiences and comfort levels?
Like the Catholic Church, our members are extremely varied and diverse. We are nuns, we are priests, we are newly-weds, we are middle-aged and grandparents, we are high-school kids and college students. We come from all backgrounds of life, from many different countries, but we are all united by our love of God and His One True Church. Through the blessings of new technology, we are able to communicate with many more people throughout the world. We try to use this to our advantage.
What has thus far been your most successful medium? Do you ever physically meet together, or do you rely solely on cyberspace to hold information sessions with the members of your Archangelatum?
Overall, YouTube remains our most successful medium. However, many of our members have chosen to enhance their friendships with each other through other forms such as blogs, e-mail and Facebook. There are several members that are siblings with one another (such as two of the co-founders). This enables even easier lines of communication to remain open. There have been a few instances of several members meeting together and there have been proposals for larger meetings; however, the large distances between each member complicates any gathering of significant size.
For more information (or if you're itching to join!) you can learn more by following this link to their blog. Or, you can check out their website here! Keep them in your prayers, folks!