Fall formation programs are gearing up, kids are back in school, and Advent is just a couple months away — so, in other words, it's a great time to think about catechesis. We sat down recently with friend to Word On Fire Mike Stark about a free product of his that he hopes will help edify — both intellectually and spiritually — Catholics, and draw them closer to the Faith.
It’s a simple concept that has the power to inspire and evangelize the masses.
A Catholic Bible, but in high-tech form.
Mike Stark, co-creator of the Truth & Life Dramatized Audio Bible and its companion App, wanted to create a product for Catholics that took the inaccessibility, inconvenience or intimidation factor out of reading the Bible.
“We’re giving them something that works for them,” he said.
Truth & Life offers a free Bible app that allows users to read the entire text, Old and New Testaments, on his or her phone, iPad or computer. Searches are easy, as Stark explains, typing in the word “love” into the app’s search field. It yielded 810 mentions, each passage easily accessed with the swipe of a finger...
Our Holy Father has had his fair share of media appearances the last 100 days, and new stories about his witness concentrate on the marriage of his message and actions. Fr. Michael Cummins reflects today on the way Jesus evangelized perfectly through word and deed— and what basic things we can imitate as we accept the call of the New Evangelization.
I do not think that the New Evangelization is just about what we say as Christians, nor about what new technologies we use to proclaim the Good News but also about how and the manner by which we proclaim, “Jesus is Lord!”
When it comes to the work of apologetics or promoting/debating the faith or current issues or even just day-to-day encounters for that matter, I must admit that I have never been one for witty, “in the moment” comebacks. I think that this is due, partly, to the fact that my parents taught me from an early age not to regard a snarky attitude, in and of itself, as a sure sign of intelligence and also because I do not think that an exchange of one-upmanship in comments leads anywhere truly productive. Such an exchange tends to produce more heat in friction than light to illuminate, I believe.
I share this because there can be a tendency to view apologetics and the new evangelization solely in terms of formulating the wittiest comeback line that will effectively put the other in his or her place while affording a sense of superiority to the crafter of said comment. But in the entire gospel story I never find Jesus doing this. Our Lord certainly had truth to speak, he knew how to challenge and his wit is demonstrated time and again throughout the gospels but his words never belittled the other nor did they divide and hurt...
What does the Catholic Church have in common with most major advertisers, retailers, politicians and information gatherers? The desire and need to reach young people. And it's a lot harder than it sounds. Seminarian and Word on Fire blog contributor Christopher Kerzich offers some sound advice on how to, and how not to, effectively reach this "key demographic."
How can the Church communicate with young people today? This question seems to be at the heart of the Plenary Assembly of the Pontifical Council for Culture, which is currently underway here in Rome. The four-day meeting is focused on the world’s emerging youth cultures. After reading aninterview highlighting the meeting’s themes, this humble scribe began reflecting on ways to communicate with the multitude of emerging youth cultures. From prayer and this reflection, I’ve seen there are four ways to communicate with today’s youth and young adults. Obviously, these are focused on encouraging the most important interaction in this regard, that between the young person and Jesus Christ.
Communicate within the Group
Walking home from dinner one evening I observed a group of ragazzi (a general Italian word for “youth” or “young adults”) outside a local café gathered and talking in a group. Interestingly, everyone looked as if they belonged and no one seemed to be an outsider. All were dressed similarly, were in the same age group, and were speaking Italian. In one sense this can be an analogy for today’s youth cultures (similar dress, similar language and gathered together either physically or virtually). This means those seeking to spread the Gospel message within these youth cultures can easily come up against roadblocks. There are certain “walls” that might exclude outsiders (either of age or background) from engaging these groups. Therefore, a new evangelist must ask him or herself, what is needed to communicate within these groups that might have a tendency to exclude outsiders?...