Boston, MA. Aug. 19, 2008 - A new educational video series has been produced by one of the nation's leading divinity schools to help people better understand the doctrine and beliefs of the Catholic faith. The video programs, entitled "A Living Faith - Themes from the Catechism of the Catholic Church," provide understandable theological insights into the sacraments, ethics, morality, prayer and other major teachings and themes of the Catholic Church. Each of the themes is presented by members of the faculty of Weston Jesuit School of Theology, which recently became part of the Boston College School of Theology and Ministry. The video programs can be previewed and purchased at www.catechismthemes.com.
"'A Living Faith' is a thought-provoking series of presentations and discussions of essential Roman Catholic themes taken from the new Catechism," said Grace Regan, Executive Director of Advancement for the New England Province of Jesuits. "It provides an excellent resource for practicing Catholics and people of all faiths who want to gain a better understanding of the fundamental concepts and beliefs of the Catholic Church."
The new Catechism, developed under the guidance of Pope John Paul II, serves as a compendium of all Catholic doctrine regarding both faith and morals which resulted from the Second Vatican Council. Published in 1992, the 800-page document was meant to be the source book for a number of catechetical tools that would implement the Catechism and bring its encyclopedic content into user-friendly formats. Pope John Paul II had asked a leading Catholic organization, the Order of Malta, to help promulgate the messages from the new Catechism.
The "Living Faith" educational video series was spearheaded by Joseph F. Finn, Jr., K.M., former treasurer for the American Association of the Order of Malta. "Thanks to the distinguished faculty of Weston Jesuit and the generosity and dedication of Tom Martin and his team at Cramer, we now have an outstanding educational tool, a seminary-level course focused on many of the most important themes of Catholicism," said Finn. "We believe these video programs will help Catholics worldwide realize the great strength and power of their Faith. They also fulfill the mission for the Order of Malta to nurture and serve the faith."
"A Living Faith" focuses on eight major Catechism themes, presented in easy-to-understand language with professional visual support. Each topic is enhanced through a roundtable conversation with the speakers and a diverse student panel. A Discussion Leader's Guide is provided at www.catechismthemes.com and can be downloaded free to help pastors and religious education directors facilitate programs in local parishes and organizations. The themes and presenters are:
- The Church: Communion of New Life in the Spirit, Kevin F. Burke, S.J.
- Missionary Dynamics of the Church, Margaret Eletta Guider, O.S.F.
- God, the Creator of Heaven and Earth: Creation, Science, and Evolution, Richard J. Clifford, S.J.
- Life, Death, and Resurrection of Jesus, Thomas D. Stegman, S.J.
- Sacramental Life of the Church, John J. Baldovin, S.J., and Peter E. Fink, S.J.
- Foundations of Morality, Edward V. Vacek, S.J.
- Catholic Social Ethics, Thomas J. Massaro, S.J.
- Prayer: Finding God in our Lives, John Randall Sachs, S.J.
The teachings in the "A Living Faith" program have been reviewed by and have received the imprimi potest from the provincial superior of the New England Province of Jesuits.
"The video series is ideal for adult faith formation," said Regan. "It can be used by clergy, staff, and the entire parish community to gain understandable theological insights into the teachings and themes of the new Catechism. We believe people will find it particularly valuable in RCIA (Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults) programs, Confirmation preparation, and as a Lenten, Advent, or parish retreat series. It is invaluable for individual listening and reflection."
A Living Faith: Themes from the Catechism of the Catholic Church was produced by Cramer, a Norwood, Massachusetts-based leader in the development and delivery of integrated marketing solutions. The 8-hour series is available as a two DVD set for $39.95 and can be previewed and purchased at www.catechismthemes.com.
About Weston Jesuit School of Theology
Weston Jesuit School of Theology has played a vital role in sustaining the rich 450-year legacy of Jesuit education and Ignatian spirituality. Founded in 1922 to prepare Jesuits for ordination, Weston Jesuit has evolved into an international center for training men and women at the graduate level of ministerial leadership, both in the Roman Catholic Church and beyond. As one of only seven ecclesiastical faculties in North America, it is chartered to award ecclesiastical degrees and has a distinguished record of educating individuals not only for the priesthood, but also for leadership roles in lay ecclesial ministries. As a comprehensive school of theology, it has educated lay ministers and priests side by side. This collaborative approach to theological and ministerial education has prepared students for service in universities and secondary schools, parishes and dioceses, campus ministries and chaplaincies, and social outreach and services. Weston Jesuit's graduates bring to their work the skills, insights, and compassion characteristic of the Jesuit, Catholic tradition. Weston Jesuit's mission and student body have been truly global; in recent years it has prepared men and women from more than 32 nations for service in more than 90 countries throughout the world. It became part of the Boston College School of Theology and Ministry in June 2008. More information is available at www.bc.edu/schools/stm/