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Evangelist, Youth Minister Paul George writing YOUCAT study guide
George, Ignatius Press Founder/Editor Fr. Joseph Fessio on ‘Life on the Rock’ Aug. 4
SAN FRANCISCO, Aug. 3, 2011 – Internationally known evangelist and youth minister Paul George, co-founder and director of ADORE ministries, is writing a study guide for YOUCAT¸ the youth catechism now available in North America from Ignatius Press.
George and Jesuit Fr. Joseph Fessio, founder and editor of Ignatius Press, will appear live Thursday night on EWTN’s “Life on the Rock,” which airs at 10/9C. They will discuss how YOUCAT will reignite the teaching of the faith among young people.
Set for distribution in less than two weeks at 2011 World Youth Day in Madrid, YOUCAT already has proven to be a hit with young Catholics in North America. Since release in late April by Ignatius Press, the English-language edition of the book has been selected as a primary resource for all 2011 and 2012 Steubenville youth conferences. A game developed for use at the conferences and by youth and young adult ministers – the YOUCAT Challenge – also is receiving acclaim for its innovative way of opening YOUCAT to young Catholic audiences.
YOUCAT adapts the content of the Catechism of the Catholic Church to a format intended to engage young people and young adults. It is an accessible and contemporary expression of the Catholic Faith. YOUCAT includes questions and answers, highly readable commentary, margin photos and illustrations, summary definitions of key terms, Bible citations and quotes from the Saints and other great teachers.
“I beg you,” Pope Benedict XVI writes in the book’s foreword, “study this Catechism with passion and perseverance. Make a sacrifice of your time for it.”
“YOUCAT is an amazing book,” George said. “I’ve read it from cover to cover, and I’m thrilled to be part of the effort to provide a study guide for youth ministers and others to use in helping Catholics really break open this incredible work.”
ADORE began in 2004 in George’s home diocese of Houma-Thibodaux, La. Under the guidance of Bishop Sam Jacobs, George and Fr. Mark Toups began ADORE as an outreach to lead people into what they were created for – a relationship with God. ADORE ministries now are found in cities across the nation, and George travels extensively helping to fulfill its mission of reaching people, impacting cities, and transforming the world.
He holds a master’s degree in theological studies from the University of Dallas. In addition to his work with ADORE, he also directs the Houma-Thibodaux diocesan Offices of Evangelization and Young Adult Ministry. He and his wife, Gretchen, have four children – Marie, Jacob, Sarah and Clare.
For more information or to request review copies of YOUCAT, please contact Alexis Walkenstein with The Maximus Group (561-445-5409 or AWalkenstein@MaximusMG.com) or Kevin Wandra with The Maximus Group (678-990-9032 or KWandra@MaximusMG.com).
Also visit www.YouCat.us for samples, reviews, and ordering information.
"Life on the Rock" airs on EWTN on Thursday, August, 4th, at 10:00 pm Eastern/7:00 pm Pacific; here is the EWTN schedule for this week.
As most Insight Scoop readers know, Fr. Robert Barron and the folks of the Word on Fire apostolate have been working for some time on the ambitious "Catholicism Project", a ten-part video series about the history, beliefs, practices, and nature of the Catholic Church.
Each of the ten episodes is an hour long and focuses on essential topics, including the Incarnation, the teachings of Jesus, the mystery of God, the Mother of God, the Apostles Peter and Paul, the Church, the Sacraments and liturgy, the Communion of Saints, prayer, and the Last Things. As the descriptive copy states, "this engaging and interesting formational program uses the art, architecture, literature, music and all the treasures of the Catholic tradition to illuminate the timeless teachings of the Church."
Over the past year or so, I've had the privilege of working with Fr. Barron and Fr. Stephen Grunow, assistant director of Word on Fire, on writing the Study Guide/Workbook for the "Catholicism Project". This involved a careful reading of Fr. Barron's scripts for the videos (which were still being shot as I worked on the guide), and then using those as the basis for a detailed study drawing upon Scripture, Church documents—especially conciliar documents and the Catechism of the Catholic Church—and the writings of Fathers, Doctors, Saints, Popes, and others. From the descriptive copy on the Word on Fire site:
Each study guide lesson provides an extensive commentary on the theological content of each episode, plus “Questions for Understanding” and “Questions for Application.” The “Questions for Understanding” incorporate references from Scripture and from the Catechism of the Catholic Church to build on topics featured in the series. The “Questions for Application” help you reflect on how Father Barron’s message is relevant to your own life and experiences.
I'm not sure how long the final Study Guide will be, but it will likely be more of a book than a booklet (I put down over a 100,000 words total).
It has been a tremendous honor to be involved in what I believe is a really remarkable project. There are many reasons for saying the "Catholicism Project" is remarkable, and I'll mention just a couple. First, the series is a unique and seamless marriage of catechesis, theology, history, culture, devotion, art, apologetics, and philosophy, adroitly presenting the great breadth and depth of Catholicism. This is a testament to Fr. Barron's impressive gifts as a pastor, theologian, philosopher, communicator, author, historian, and speaker. He challenges viewers to grapple with the mysteries of Faith while always avoiding two great temptations: to dumb things down or to be needlessly obscure or pedantic.
Secondly, having now seen a couple of episodes, I can say that the "Catholicism Project" captures, often in breathtaking fashion, the tremendous beauty of Catholicism. The cinematography is of the highest order, and the range of visual material is tremendous, including footage from all over the globe, in cathedrals and churches, at liturgies and in monasteries, of priests and laity, nuns and monks. Each episode highlights certain works of art, literature or architecture, and the Study Guide discusses these as well. In short, this is not only a most worthy introduction to Catholicism, but a vibrant and personal tour, if you will, of the Faith established by Christ and alive and well today, despite desperate rumors to the contrary.
Finally, I can't say enough about how enjoyable it was to work with Fr. Barron and Fr. Grunow. The latter, especially, deserves some sort of medal for putting up with unexpected hiccups in my schedule, and always putting me into a much better frame of mind when I found the going tough on a couple of occasions. His good humor and patient encouragement were a real blessing. Thank you, Fr. Steve!
If you've not seen it already, here is one of the introductory videos for the "Catholicism Project":
And here is a recent video from Fr. Barron, featuring remarks made by Cardinal Timothy Dolan and George Weigel, announcing that some episodes of the "Catholicism Project" will air on WTTW, Chicago’s premier public television station:
Fr. Joseph Fessio, S.J., founder and editor of Ignatius Press, has been giving a lot of interviews lately, talking about Jesus of Nazareth: Holy Week, and other topics. Here are two more audio interviews, from the EWTN archives:
Fr. Fessio, founder and publisher of Ignatius Press, will appear on FoxNews.com Live on Good Friday, April 22nd, for an interview with Lauren Green, Fox News chief religion correspondent, on the topics of Jesus of Nazareth: Holy Week by Pope Benedict XVI, as well as the upcoming beatification of The Venerable Pope John Paul II. I don't yet know what time Fr. Fessio will be on, but FoxNews.com Live apparently airs live from 9:00 am to 3:00 pm EST.
Over the next few days, Fr. Fessio will also be guesting on other shows (either live or to be aired later), including "Sunday Night Live with Fr. Benedict Groeschel" (EWTN), CNN, "The Catholic Guy", CatholicTV, "The World Over Live with Raymond Arroyo" (EWTN), among others. The primary topics will be Jesus of Nazareth and YOUCAT (Youth Catechism of the Catholic Church).
Specific air dates and times will be posted here when they are available.
From "Rome Reports", news that on Good Friday, April 22, Pope Benedict XVI will appear on television to answer questions about Jesus Christ. It will be the first time that a pope has granted a televised interview (UPDATE: Benedict XVI was actually interviewed on German television back in August 2006).
Like a Time-Release Capsule | Kathy Shaidle | Special for Catholic World Report
Salt + Light Television, which came out of World Youth Day 2002 in Toronto, is still going strong.
The organizers of World Youth Day 2002 in Toronto had computed the logistics, double-checked the protocol, and considered every eventuality. For instance, they knew they had to shelter, feed, and hydrate hundreds of thousands of pilgrims, some 25,000 volunteers, and “the founder of the feast” himself, Pope John Paul II.
And given the history of major international get-togethers dating back to the 1960s, that handful of Cuban defectors begging for Canadian asylum couldn’t really be considered a surprise. The WYD committee even inked a $4.5-million contract for 7,000 Porta-Potties, destined for the vast grounds set aside for the closing papal mass.
The committee could never have anticipated the trouble one discarded plastic raincoat would cause. At that papal Mass up at Downsview Park, an estimated 800,000 pilgrims prayed, cheered, and made a rather un-Canadian mess. Among the debris: an abandoned raincoat that somehow made its way from inside a Porta-Potty into the city’s waste system. The resulting back-up diverted 32,000 liters of raw sewage into a nearby retail furniture complex, resulting in $16-million in highly publicized damages.
The scenario was ripe for media mockery. Yet surprisingly little occurred. By the time the furniture store celebrated its grand reopening six months later, the average Torontonian had forgotten the embarrassing, expensive disaster.
In the months leading up to World Youth Day, Canadian Catholics had been apprehensive about the media coverage, and not just on account of the innocent ignorance mainstream journalists display when reporting on matters Catholic. Canadian Catholics had additional grounds for concern: in the 1980s, the Canadian Church weathered the first of many scandals that were later rock the rest of the world, when news broke about decades-old sexual abuse allegations centered around Newfoundland’s Mount Cashel orphanage. Nearly 20 years later, almost every Canadian news story or opinion column concerning the Catholic Church (however innocuous or elementary) still seemed to include an obligatory allusion to Mount Cashel.
My former canon law professor, Dr. Ed Peters—who also has a degree in civil law (yeah, he's pretty smart)—has been taken to task by the brilliant scholars and intellectual lights of "The View". Ken Shepherd of Newsbusters writes:
Discussing how Catholic canon law advisor Dr. Edward Peters has declared that New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) committed an "objectively sacrilegious" act that "produces grave scandal" by receiving Communion on January 2, almost every panelist on ABC gabfest "The View" today rebuked the scholar for his pronouncement. ...
"What would Jesus do?" View moderator Whoopi Goldberg asked, answering her own question by misapplying Jesus's admonition that he who is without sin may cast the first stone.
Co-host Sherri Shepherd also echoed the "cast the first stone" argument, wondering "how many people in that church that take that wine and eat those crackers are doing something at home that we don't know about?"
Wow, Sherri Shepherd, great point! No one—and I mean no one—ever thought that maybe people commit sins in private. I assume that Ms. Shepherd, prior to commenting on this matter, spent some time reading the Code of Canon Law. But, in case she missed it, she might want to take a look at Canon. 916: "A person who is conscious of grave sin is not to celebrate Mass or receive the body of the Lord without previous sacramental confession unless there is a grave reason and there is no opportunity to confess; in this case the person is to remember the obligation to make an act of perfect contrition which includes the resolution of confessing as soon as possible."
It's not that I expect The View's brain trust to adhere to or even agree with Catholic teaching and canon law; rather, I hope they would at least acknowledge the logic of saying, "If you belong to the Church, you shouldn't be surprised to be held accountable to the standards, teachings, and discipline of the Church." After all, I would bet good money that if a political liberal in the good graces of Golberg and Co. were to suddenly proclaim opposition to abortion, he would be publicly chastised and rebuked for having broken with the established doctrines and dogmas of his liberal faith.
As for what Jesus would do, we know that he said, "Repent, for the kingdom of God is at hand!" We know that he said that "...unless you repent you will all likewise perish." We know that he sent out seventy to witness to him and the kingdom, telling them, "He who hears you hears me, and he who rejects you rejects me, and he who rejects me rejects him who sent me." We know that Jesus granted special authority to Peter and that he told the apostles, "Truly, I say to you, whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven." We know that he said, "Remember then from what you have fallen, repent and do the works you did at first. If not, I will come to you and remove your lampstand from its place, unless you repent." We know he said, "Remember then what you received and heard; keep that, and repent." And we know that those words apply to all of us who claim him as Lord and claim to be members of his Church.
Of course, while Goldberg and Co. (misleadingingly) invoke Jesus' words about casting the first stone, they have no problem rebuking Dr. Peters for the ultimate sin: disagreeing with them. Ms. Shepherd worries about those who "are doing something at home that we don't know about", whereas she should be more worried about those who are on The View talking about matters they know nothing about.
Leonardo Defilippis of Saint Luke's Productions is the guest on tonight's edition of "EWTN Live!" with Fr. Mitch Pacwa, S.J. There will be encore presentations of the program on Thursday at 1:00 am (ET) and 9:00 am (ET), and Sunday at 4:00 am (ET). Leonardo will be talking about his tour of North America with the Vianney Movement, which I interviewed him about back in August 2009:
UPDATE (Feb. 17th): Here is the "EWTN Live!" interview:
I made a solemn New Year's resolution (complete with a long, unblinking stare while swearing with my hand placed upon a copy of "O" magazine) to not waste much more time or cyber ink on Alberto Cutie. But then I read this interesting bit of "news":
Alberto Cutie, a priest who was forced out of the Catholic Church because of the fact that he married a woman is now getting his own reality TV show (Fox) in a bizarre turn of events.
I thought, "That's strange: I don't remember Cutie being forced out of the Catholic Church." I do remember that he was caught having an affair with a woman, then refusing to cooperate with his bishop or acknowledge his sin, and then voluntarily leaving the Catholic Church and becoming an Episcopalian. But, hey, journalists have a real gift for distilling stories down to their essence, so who am I to question the above sentence? Wait, it gets even better:
The scandal first started when he was photographed kissing and embracing Ruhama Buni Canellis on a beach in Florida in 2009. As a result of the controversy that ensued he had no other option but to leave the church because of the damage that all of the attention had done to him as a religious figure.
He. had. no. other. option. Because, although he was a Catholic priest, he was mysteriously unaware of the Seven Sacraments, including one commonly called Confession. I know seminary formation has been spotty over the past few decades, but surely even the most loosy-goosy seminary makes passing reference to the sacrament of reconciliation, right? But, again, I suppose the author of this piece is onto something: if admitting that he was wrong wasn't an option for Cutie, than staying an active Catholic priest wasn't either.
Alberto Cutie has been labeled with the title of “Father Oprah” and will host the show “Father Albert” which will be an inspirational program which will discuss all different kinds of life topics.
Cutie said that the show will cover all of the different issues that Catholics face from the challenges of abstinence to the desire of ultimate salvation.
Hold on a moment. Different issues that "Catholics face"? Is the show actually oriented to a Catholic audience? If so, why? Because the producers can't find any Episcopalians interested in watching a show hosted by a man caught having an affair with a woman? Or is this a case of cherry-picking from his former audience? And, if so, isn't that mean-spirited and contrary to an authentic spirit of ecumenism according The Episcopalian Code of Suggested, Non-Dogmatic Conduct in Matters Ecumenical? However, I can't find any other story making the same strange remark, so it could be that the usually-solid, fact-checking writer of the above piece slipped up. A piece on HollywoodReporter.com adds this bit of information:
"It'll be everything from sex to salvation," Father Alberto told The Hollywood Reporter Tuesday in Miami during the NATPE TV trade show.
Because we know Cutie has shown a great interest in recent years in at least one of those topics.
Hopefully it'll invite "greater dialog" with the audience, he added. Sorta Oprah meets Dr. Phil meets Bishop Sheen, the only other religious personnage who ever fronted a national TV show. (And that was in the 1950s!)
Actually, Fr. Robert Barron of the Archdiocese of Chicago has a national show on WGN, and he is much closer to Bishop Fulton Sheen by virtue of being a Catholic priest in good standing who believes and teaches Catholic doctrine. But, according to the producers of the show, Cutie has "wide cross-over appeal, incredible story, encouraging advice and charismatic personality". No word if that sound bite was borrowed from Cutie's wife...
From Tim Drake, over at National Catholic Register:
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. — Eighty-three years after its debut in Denver, and 15 years after its purchase by the Legionaries of Christ, the National Catholic Register is being acquired by the world’s largest religious media network, the Eternal Word Television Network (EWTN). The acquisition, finalized at the end of January, marks the third time in the newspaper’s history that a new owner has stepped forward to preserve and expand the newspaper’s service to the Church.
Under the terms of the transaction, no cash will be exchanged between the parties. EWTN will take over the ongoing operational expenses of the Register and will assume the paper’s future subscription liabilities.
“I am very pleased and excited that the Register will now be a part of the EWTN family,” said Michael Warsaw, the network’s president and chief executive officer. “All of us at EWTN have great respect for the Register and the role it has played throughout its history. It’s a tremendous legacy that deserves to not only be preserved, but also to grow and to flourish. I believe that EWTN will be able to provide the stability that the Register needs at this time as well as to give it a platform for its growth in the years ahead. We’re proud to be able to step in and carry on both the Register’s name and its tradition of faithful Catholic reporting on the issues of the day.”
The need for the providential intervention by EWTN was precipitated by what Legionary Father Owen Kearns, the Register’s publisher and editor in chief, described as a “perfect storm.” That storm, not dissimilar to what has hit most print publications, was intensified by rising publishing and mailing costs, and the negative impact on Register donations from the downturn in the economy, all of which overwhelmed the Legion’s ability to continue to subsidize the costs of producing the newspaper and managing its website.
As of Feb. 1, EWTN will take full control and ownership of the Register.
Oh, and I shouldn't overlook this incredible bit of news: the great Dan Rather, arguably the greatest journalist ever named "Dan Rather", is breaking this astounding story:
DALLAS, Dec. 7, 2010 /PRNewswire/ -- Tonight, "Dan Rather Reports" investigates some subtle changes - and some not so subtle - that may indicate a conservative shift in the Roman Catholic Church. Is Pope Benedict the XVI supporting these changes, or simply trying to heal rifts within the Church itself?
In the 1960's, under Pope John XXIII, and Pope Paul VI, the Second Ecumenical Council of the Vatican, or Vatican II made changes to the Roman Catholic liturgy including conducting Mass in the native vernacular, instead of Latin, and allowing priests to face the congregation. These changes made it look as if a new more liberal view would shape the Church in the coming years.
However, it seems as if lately, and somewhat quietly, the Church is slowly becoming more conservative under Pope Benedict XVI. ...
Should Catholics expect a return to the days before Vatican II? Find out tonight on HDNet.
No word if Rather has found the typewriter used to create the Vatican II document that ordered priests to face the people at all times during Mass. Still, you have to give Rather credit for having the guts to report a story employing a tired template that has only been used about ten billion times already.