ADULT FAITH OFFERINGS - SAINT MICHAEL PARISH
Explorations in Faith & Spirituality: Through Explorations in Faith and Spirituality, St. Michael's offers opportunities for adults to ponder our Catholic faith and the living of our faith in everyday life. Each session focuses on a specific theme. The group meets monthly, usually on the second Tuesday of the month. There are two sessions, 12:45 PM-2:15 PM and 7:30 PM-9:00 PM. Attend either session.
September 13, 2016 and October 11, 2016
Authentic Transformation (Video)
- The Necessity of a Foundational Conversion: An experience of the Absolute, a radical change of consciousness, an initiating experience, Twelve-Step work, or ego and shadow work.
- The Sign of Spiritual Conversion: A never-failing movement toward the edge, the bottom, the suffering, and the simple.
- A Practice for Staying Open: Some form of quieting, meditation, contemplation, solitude, and silence.
Beginning with the November Explorations in Faith and Spirituality session, we will explore Catholicism: The Pivotal Players which is Bishop Robert Barron's most recently released Catholicism Series. Each of the six sessions explores the life of a person of faith:
- St. Francis of Assisi - the Reformer. Rebuild my Church! That’s the mission Christ gave to St. Francis and it’s the perennial task of the Church in every age of its life. But how is the reform and renewal of the Church to be accomplished? The life of St. Francis demonstrates that Christ intends the foundations of true and lasting reform to be built on the solid rock that is the radical witness of the saints.
- St. Thomas Aquinas - the Theologian. The relationship of faith and reason is under intense scrutiny in an age beholden to the competing claims of fundamentalism and secularism. So called “new atheists” insist that the claims of religion amount to mere superstition, a retrograde holdover from a time long ago. Others insist that the life of faith is a retreat into emotions and subjectivism. St. Thomas Aquinas anticipated these objections and trends and demonstrated that to believe is to think and that the life of the mind is integral to life in Christ.
- St. Catherine of Siena - the Mystic. Is the physical world all there is? Is science the only path to ascertaining truth? St. Catherine of Siena witnesses to a higher world beyond the material. Though the fourteenth century mystic never studied theology, and never learned how to read or write, her life constitutes a powerful challenge to the flattened-out secularism of our time.
- Bl. John Henry Newman - the Convert. Is there any truth in matters of religion? Should the Church simply retreat in the face of the challenges of culture? John Henry Newman came into the Church as a convert and used his prodigious intellectual gifts to help the Church better understand its identity and mission and engage the challenges of a secular age.
- G.K. Chesterton - the Evangelist. How does one engage a culture that is befuddled by Christ and suspicious of the Church? The life and witness of this nineteenth century literary convert shows that the fundamental disposition of effective evangelization is joy, and life in Christ is a day-to-day encounter with an abundant and surprising offer of grace.
- Michelangelo - the Artist. The master of sculpture and painting is not a saint but serves as the privileged representative of the creative potential engendered by the Catholic Faith. The Church professes that beauty is a route of access to God, and through humanity’s creative artistry we glimpse the power and glory of the Lord.
View and discuss the Center for Contemplation's 2016 Divine Dance webcast where Fr. Richard Rohr, OFM, and William Paul Young, author of The Shack, discuss the meaning of the novel The Shack and our concepts of God and Trinity and all of creation, particularly, humankind.
See the Bulletin for current schedule and next topic.
Periodic Bible Study Offerings
Introduction to the New Testament
We continue with the Yale University Open Online Course, Introduction to the New Testament by Dale Martin, Woolsey Professor of Religious Studies.
These session are held twice monthly, usually on Tuesdays. There are two sessions, 12:45 PM-2:15 PM and 7:30 PM-9:00 PM. Attend either session. Consult the weekly bulletin, the parish's weekly email or contact the Parish Center for times and location.
This course provides a historical study of the origins of Christianity by analyzing the literature of the earliest Christian movements in historical context, concentrating on the New Testament. Although theological themes will occupy much of our attention, the course does not attempt a theological appropriation of the New Testament as scripture. Rather, the importance of the New Testament and other early Christian documents as ancient literature and as sources for historical study will be emphasized. A central organizing theme of the course will focus on the differences within early Christianity (-ies).
Lecture 18 Arguing with Paul?
Lecture 19 The "Household" Paul: the Pastorals
Lecture 21 Interpreting Scripture: Hebrews
Lecture 22 Interpreting Scripture: Medieval Interpretations
Lecture 23 Apocalyptic and Resistance
Lecture 24 Apocalyptic and Accommodation
Lecture 25 Ecclesiastical Institutions: Unity, Martyrs, and Bishops
Lecture 26 The "Afterlife" of the New Testament and Postmodern Interpretation
Starting in January 2017, our Bible Study Tuesdays will be used for a study of Church History using the Now You Know video lecture series,
The History of the Catholic Church: Tradition and Innovation by Kean University History Professor Christopher Bellitto, Ph.D. The series probably will span twelve sessions and cover these years and themes:
- Early Church: From Jesus to Charlemagne: ca. 30-800AD
- -- Outcasts to insiders to major players in running European society
- Medieval Church: From Charlemagne to Luther: ca. 800-1517
- -- Central institution and force in society, politics, and culture along with religion
- -- Dominance (and diversity) but fault lines, too
- Reformation and Modern Church: From Luther to Vatican II: ca. 1517-today
- -- Roman Catholicism to multiple expressions of Christianity
- -- Challenges of modernity: Scientific Revolution, Enlightenment, democratic republics/constitutionalism
- -- A truly global church