My dear people of St. Mary’s:
Before I became a priest, even though I went to twelve years of Catholic school, I always felt I did not know enough about my Catholic Faith. Over the years I tried to educate myself along the way by finding good Catholic books to read, informative talks to listen to on tapes or CD’s, or interesting videos to watch. Some were better than others, and it was all rather hit-or-miss. For the last eighteen years as a priest I have seen that this desire was not unique to me. In every parish in which I have served I have witnessed a great hunger on the part of the parishioners to learn more about their Faith and to come to a deeper understanding of it. Of course, this desire does not come from mere idle curiosity; people understand that the more they understand their Faith, the closer they will grow to the One Who gave it to all of us as His supreme gift: Our Lord Jesus Christ. Catholics never study the Faith merely as an academic exercise. We study the Faith in order to come closer to the Lord Jesus and to have a deeper relationship with Him. St. John Paul II returned again and again to a statement made by the Second Vatican Council which really became a central theme of his long pontificate: “Christ … fully reveals man to man himself, and makes his supreme calling clear.” [Gaudium et Spes, ¶ 22] In other words, since we are made by God and for God, we will never really understand ourselves unless we first understand Him. We come to know God by coming to know His Son, Jesus Christ. And we come to know Christ through learning, believing and practicing the Catholic Faith.
To help us all come to know Our Savior better, St. Mary’s has now partnered with the Augustine Institute to bring FORMED to our parish. FORMED is a modern “digital platform” that brings together for you in one place what I laboriously gathered for myself from many places over many years. FORMED offers a wealth of informative and entertaining Catholic audio talks, eBooks, feature films, documentaries,video-based study programs. It also has great materials for use in religious education and adult faith formation. These materials are drawn from excellent Catholic sources like Ignatius Press, Catholic Answers, Sophia Press, the Knights of Columbus, the St. Paul Center, and more. FORMED includes materials from Catholic experts like Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen, Dr. Scott Hahn, Bishop Robert Barron, Fr. Michael Gaitley, Steve and Janet Ray, Jeff Cavins, Dr. Peter Kreeft, Jennifer Fulwiler, Dr. Brant Pitre, Dr. Tim Gray, and many others. It even offers considerable resources in Spanish. This is now available to all parishioners, at no cost to you, to enable you to better know Jesus by learning, believing and practicing your Catholic Faith.
How do you get access to FORMED on your computer?
On your computer go to www.formed.org. Then scroll down the page a bit and you will see “Register: Sign up free using your parish code.” Click on that and you will see a box entitled “Parishioner Registration.” Type in St. Mary’s parish access code: CM9F26. Below, type in your email address, and click “Go” and you are registered. Everyone in the parish can use this site as often as they want for free.
How do you get access to FORMED on your mobile device?
On your mobile device you may go to your App Store and search for “FORMED”, or in your web browser you can go to app.formed.org. Follow the instructions using St. Mary’s parish access code: CM9F26.