Seminarian John Garabedian displays the website he designed, Auspice Maria, on a laptop. Catholic News Agency photo
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FALL RIVER (CNA) -- A seminarian and former graphic designer has created the Auspice Maria website as an initiative of the new evangelization.
John Garabedian, a seminarian of the Diocese of Fall River, told CNA his goal is "to present old truths in new, creative, engaging ways and use my talents and professional experience of being a graphic designer for God's glory and lead them with beauty to the Source of Beauty, God Himself."
Auspice Maria (auspicemaria.jgarabediandesign.com), Latin for "under the protection of Mary", is a digital library of videos, spiritual reflections, graphic art, and other catechetical resources.
Auspice Maria offers answers to theological questions through original content such as blogs and videos. Some videos feature Garabedian, but many of the videos feature priests in Garabedian's diocese.
Garabedian plans to create content every couple of months in order to balance his seminary studies. His vision is to create videos mostly featuring priests, though he would like to have some lay people contribute as well.
In addition to its original content, Auspice Maria offers resources by linking to videos and articles created by EWTN, Catholic News Agency, The Thomistic Institute, Ascension Presents, Word on Fire, Carry Your Cross, and other organizations with a Catholic mission.
The site offers a blend of apologetics and evangelization targeted towards non-practicing, young-adult Catholics who left the faith for a "lack of evidence." The website is also for practicing Catholics who want to grow in their faith, Garabedian says.
Garabedian's inspiration for the website came during a visit to Jerusalem, when he saw an "Auspice Maria" monogram on a banner at the Church of the Visitation.
With his graphic design skills, Garabedian wanted to create a logo based on the monogram, "but with a modern, athletic twist to reflect the beauty of the Catholic Church, Our Lady, and my love for sports."
The motivation also came from Garabedian's desire to share that belief in God and the Catholic Church is "firmly rooted in Scripture, history, and a rich intellectual tradition of philosophy, theology, and science."
In addition to word of mouth and local parish outreach, Garabedian is spreading his initiative through its Facebook, YouTube Channel, and Instagram.
The project took Garabedian about a year to create with the help from some priests, family, and friends. Garabedian told CNA he may begin selling apparel to fundraise for evangelization efforts.
"The goal is to spread the saving love of Jesus Christ to hearts longing for love, happiness, and peace that only God can give," he said.