Articles on 40:
The Tidings Web-based series ‘40’ offers up Lenten ‘experience’
National Catholic Reporter Blog ’40′: Jesuits launch Lenten social media series on Ash Wednesday
Catholic Sentinel Apocalyptic Lenten Drama To Appear On Social Media
Missouri Province New mixed-media Lenten series targets young adults
Boston Pilot Characters in Web-based series face issues that mirror Lenten themes
OFFICIAL PRESS RELEASES
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
WEB-BASED DRAMATIC SERIES “40″ TO PREPARE VIEWERS FOR LENT
Social Media Used to Enhance Lenten Experience
Los Angeles — Loyola Productions’ new post-apocalyptic drama 40 — produced in association with the Midwest Jesuits and Loyola Press — offers viewers a unique Lenten experience delivered exclusively through the Internet and social media. This innovative program appeals to believers and seekers alike, and is ideal for individuals and groups.
40 premieres Ash Wednesday, February 22, 2012, and shepherds viewers right up to Easter Triduum. Each week during Lent, two new episodes will air on the series’ original website — 40theseries.com — as well as on YouTube, Vimeo and Facebook, with updates available through Twitter. Each of the 14 (4–7 minute) episodes acts as a Lenten allegory and is accompanied by meditative reflections centered on the scriptural references.
40 begins with seven strangers who appear to be the only survivors of a mysterious, calamitous event: Los Angeles is empty, devoid of people. No sign remains of family, neighbors or co-workers. No space ship hovers over the city, there are no zombies or flesh-eating viruses. There are just seven strangers, who share the same iridescent blue mark on the shoulder, a tiny, precise square of color that wasn’t there yesterday. Were they chosen? Or have they been culled? By whom? For what purpose?
Award-Winning Writer/Director Jesuit Brother Michael Breault developed the series to offer something new and engaging, stating, “A thrilling, post-apocalyptic drama to help further one’s Lenten experience takes storytelling to a whole new level and has simply never been done before. 40 is not just a series, it’s unique in that it also serves as a Lenten allegory. At the heart of each episode are questions and scriptural meditations designed to enhance a person’s Lenten journey.”
Executive Producer Jesuit Father Eddie Siebert also shares his enthusiasm for 40: “Loyola Productions is thrilled to partner with the Midwest Jesuits and Loyola Press in creating an innovative way to reflect on and prepare for Lent. Using a cutting-edge medium combined with mixed media to prepare for a centuries-old spiritual tradition is very exciting for us and the entire Jesuit Community. We hope to reach a wide audience and get people talking. 40 is about conversation and community.”
40 stars George Gallagher, Ethan Flower, Cherinda Kincherlow, Peggy Miley, Jan Broberg, Caroline Pho, Jack Little and Damon Murphy. Episodes will air on Mondays and Wednesdays during Lent. For more information and to view the full schedule of airdates please visit http://40theseries.com or search for “40theseries” on Youtube, Facebook, Vimeo and Twitter.
LENT: FAITHFUL USING SOCIAL MEDIA AND INTERNET
Los Angeles — A growing number of Catholics are finding inspiration and reflection this Lenten season through an unlikely source: the Internet and social media.
The producers of “40,” a post-apocalyptic Web-based drama that debuted on Ash Wednesday, report they have seen a steady growth in viewers across its Web, YouTube, Vimeo and Facebook platforms.
“’40’ has literally gone from zero to almost 20,000 viewers each week during Lent and the audience is growing,” said Fr. Eddie Siebert, S.J., President of Loyola Productions, who along with the Midwest Jesuits and Loyola Press have produced the groundbreaking program. “People are getting used to the idea that certain technologies, often thought of as a work tool or purely a social outlet, are convenient and useful channels for enhancing their faith as well.”
“40” offers viewers a unique Lenten experience through weekly episodes aired on 40theseries.com, YouTube, Vimeo, and Facebook. Each of the 14 episodes acts as a Lenten allegory, accompanied by meditative reflections centered on the scriptural references. Updates are communicated through Facebook and Twitter.
Religious education programs across the country have adopted “40” as part of the their Lenten curriculum. St. Cornelius Catholic School in Chicago has integrated “40” into its 7th grade confirmation curriculum. Students watch “40” in class and then discuss each program’s message and reflection.
“At first students didn’t know what to expect,” said Mary Barth, the school’s religious education coordinator. “Now, they talk about the program and look forward to the next episode.”
Barth noted most students use technology at home and in school. Using Web and social media based religious education programs like “40” helps to show students how to integrate what they learn in Confirmation class into every day life.
“Books and lectures are fine, but a Web- and social media-based program like “40” delivers content and a message to students through communication channels they use every day and can relate to.”
High school juniors taking Victor Cancino, S.J.’s inter-religious dialogue class at Verbum Dei High School in south central Los Angeles are using “40” to learn more about Catholicism’s rituals.
“Students are intrigued by “40” because its an allegory, a metaphor for life and faith,” Mr. Cancino said. “They relate better to the information by watching the programs in class.”
Cancino said after watching “40” each week, students write about the week’s episode in their journals as a way to deepen their faith, understand their lives and learn more about the Catholic Church.
“40’s” producers expect to continue to grow the audience for the unique series. “Combining a cutting-edge medium with mixed media is exciting,” said Siebert, “40’s” executive producer. “”40” successfully demonstrates the best use of the Internet and social media to enhance our faith during Lent and throughout the year.”