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Eastern Catholic spirituality featured in free online courses


Andrey Pronin | NurPhoto | AFP

John Burger - published on 09/09/19

Live webinars bring viewers insights into traditions from the East.

The faith, spirituality and liturgies of Eastern Catholicism will be the subject of a new online learning project initiated this month. God With US Online is dedicated to the catechetical renewal of Eastern Catholics in the United States.

“The Face of God: An Introduction to Byzantine Faith & Spirituality” is the first installment in the new initiative. Deacon Daniel Dozier, author of the upcoming Catholic Answers publication 20 Answers: The Eastern Catholic Churches, will lead the discussion over two sessions, on Wednesdays, September 11 and 18, at 8 p.m.

Fr. Hezekias Carnazzo, pastor of a Melkite Catholic parish in Sacramento, California, is spearheading God With US Online, which will feature free online courses throughout the year. Fr. Hezekias has a master‘s degree in systematic theology with an Advanced Apostolic Catechetical Diploma from the Graduate School of Christendom College. In 2009, he founded the Institute of Catholic Culture and has since served as its Executive Director. Ordained to the priesthood on May 1, 2016, he also serves as the Director of the Office of Catechesis and Evangelization for the Melkite Greek Catholic Eparchy of Newton, Massachusetts.

Other courses this fall and winter include:

  • Making Disciples: The Art of Bringing Others to Christ, taught by Fr. Alexander C. Wroblicky, Pastor of Saints Peter & Paul Byzantine Catholic Church in Duquesne, Pennsylvania;
  • Unlocking the Mystery: An Introduction to Eastern Christian Bible Study, led by Joshua Mangels, a former pastor in an Assemblies of God church who became a Byzantine Catholic;
  • The Gift of God: Preparing for the Nativity of Christ, by Fr. David E. Anderson, a Ukrainian Greek Catholic priest who is a chaplain at Wyoming Catholic College;
  • Baptized into Christ: The Mystery of Initiation & the Identity of the People of God, taught by Fr. Sebastian Carnazzo, who has a doctorate from the Catholic University of America and is pastor of St. Elias Melkite Catholic Church in San Jose, California. He is the brother of Fr. Hezekias.

All courses are live webinars and will open 30 minutes ahead of time for questions and pre-class discussion.

God With US Online is an outreach of the Eastern Catholic Eparchial Directors (of Religious Education) and the Eastern Catholic Associates. It is being launched in partnership with several Eastern Catholic eparchies in the United States.

Fr. Anthony Hernandez, Director of Religious Education for the Holy Protection of Mary Eparchy of Phoenix, Arizona, said that the Eastern Catholic Eparchial Directors of Religious Education perceived a need for such programs being offered by God With US Online, as currently there are few resources online for Eastern Catholic catechesis.

“It is hoped that the mini-series being offered will be of benefit both to those who are already Eastern Christians, and to Western Christians, and to anyone else who might be interested,” Fr. Hernandez told Aleteia.

David Clayton, Provost of Pontifex University, said on his Way of Beauty blog, “While the goal is to teach Eastern Catholics about their faith, it strikes me that this will be of great interest to many Roman Catholics also.”

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