There’s a new resource for Catholics who would like to take a deeper dive into the Bible and get more out of the Mass. The St. Paul Center for Biblical Theology is offering a weekly video subscription service featuring reflections on the Sunday readings.
“The Word of the Lord” program is the latest educational initiative from the St. Paul Center, a non-profit with a mission to “raise up a new generation of priests who are fluent in Scripture and help all Catholics become biblically literate.”
“The Word of the Lord” before Sunday Mass
Taught by the author and theologian Dr. Scott Hahn, founder and president of the St. Paul Center, and Dr. John Bergsma, professor of theology at Franciscan University at Steubenville, the course unlocks the deeper meaning in the readings. More than simply an academic study, the program includes reflections on how the readings apply to people’s daily lives.
Recommended for use as a Lenten exercise, “The Word of the Lord” program includes detailed outlines of each episode with room for personal notes (see a sample outline here). Whether used as a personal devotion or a study program, the weekly videos help the faithful prepare for Mass in a more meaningful way. To watch a sample video and register, visit the center’s website.
The St. Paul Center for Biblical Literacy
Scott Hahn founded the St. Paul Center as a way of sharing his love and knowledge of Scripture with his fellow Catholics. A former Presbyterian minister, Hahn decided to convert to Catholicism after much prayer and study of the Word of God. He then dedicated his life to teaching Catholic priests and lay people how to study the Bible.
Through books and publications, multimedia and online programming, the St. Paul Center helps facilitate an encounter with God through sacred scripture. It’s something of a truism that Catholics are not as familiar with the Bible as are some of their Protestant brethren. This wasn’t always the case, as the early Christians revered the Word of God. In the 5th century, St. Jerome, who translated the Bible for the masses, famously said, “Ignorance of scripture is ignorance of Christ.”
The center aims to help a new generation of Catholics make knowledge of the Bible once again the foundation of the faith. The staff at the St. Paul Center explained why studying scripture is so important for Catholics:
“The Scriptures reveal our place in the family of God and point to the Mass as the fulfillment of God’s plan for our salvation. When we understand the Scriptures, we understand that we’re made for more. We encounter God in God’s Word. We discover an ancient way of thinking about ourselves and about the Church,” reads part of their mission statement.
Here are a few of the programs offered by the St. Paul Center:
“Journey Through Lent” video series
A free Lenten streaming series will be also available beginning on Ash Wednesday, March 2. Led by Scott Hahn, the videos feature talks on Confession, prayer, the Eucharist and knowing the Gospel.
To register for the series visit the St. Paul Center’s website.
Popular video series on the Bible
Last year over 130,000 people took part in the St. Paul Center’s video series “Parousia: The Bible and the Mass.” In 10 sessions, Scott Hahn explains the relationship between the Mass and the Bible. Beginning with Genesis and ending with the Book of Revelation, the course provides an overview of salvation history, and shows how the New Testament is concealed in the Old, and the Old Testament is revealed in the New.
Other video series available at the website show how the Bible is central to the Catholic faith. They include: “Genesis to Jesus,” “The Bible and the Church Fathers,” “The Bible and the Virgin Mary,” “The Bible and the Sacraments,” and “The Eucharist in Scripture.”
Teaching Bible literacy to priests
Catholic priests went through the same catechism classes that Catholic lay people did, so it’s not surprising that they too can benefit from studying the Bible. The St. Paul Center is dedicated to teaching them, through educational materials, help with homilies, and annual conferences. Over the course of three days, priests get together for talks from leading theologians, faith formation, and fellowship.
Daily podcast and app
Among the many resources available at the St. Paul Center is a new daily podcast entitled “Letters from Home.” Scott Hahn, John Bergsma and other theologians share their insights on the scripture readings of the Daily Mass. Subscribe to Letters From Home at Apple Podcasts, Spotify or wherever you listen to podcasts.
For more information about the St. Paul Center, visit their website.