Why Catholic? offers new ways to participate

By Marnie McAllister, Record Assistant Editor

why catholic2 logoWhen RENEW Why Catholic? begins again in early October, this time focused on morality and Christian living, the faith formation process will be available to those who don’t have the time or inclination to join in the program’s small faith-sharing groups.

The Archdiocese of Louisville has developed an online version of the program. And a one-day workshop called “Why Catholics Work for Justice” will be offered in October. The workshop is open to all, those participating in Why Catholic? and those who aren’t.

“You don’t need previous seasons of Why Catholic? to do this,” said Sal Della Bella, director of evangelization for the archdiocese. “If this is the one (topic) you’ve been waiting for, sign up.”

Why Catholic? “sign-up Sundays” will be held later this month. Those who want to take part in the traditional faith-sharing groups with fellow parishioners, should talk to their Why Catholic? coordinator at their parish during the Sunday sign-ups.

Those interested in the online version should contact Della Bella directly at 585-3291 or sdellabella@archlou.org.

Della Bella developed the web-based program with Denise Puckett, consultant for catechetical ministry for the Archdiocese of Louisville.

Just as the small faith-sharing groups gather for six weekly guided discussions, the online participants will have guided weekly sessions, too. The difference is, those using the Internet platform can delve into their studies anytime, day or night.

The web platform features the same readings on various theological concepts that other Why Catholic? participants use, plus short videos and an online forum for discussion with others in the archdiocese.

Each weekly installment also contains links to relevant Bible passages and sections of the Catechism of the Catholic Church.

Della Bella said the face-to-face weekly gatherings have a lot of benefits — such as building community, developing relationships and allowing for real-time conversation. But the online version has it’s own set of advantages, he said, noting that the process was piloted by about 20 people last spring.

“We had a lot of good responses. Where it was really helpful, is that it provided a lot more resources and you had a lot of time to really think about the material before you responded,” he said.

The first six weeks of the online version are available now. If people like it, Della Bella said, the second six-weeks will be available in the spring.

The theme of this season’s Why Catholic? — which encompasses the fall and spring sessions — is “LIVE: Christian Morality.” And it’s essentially a call to action, Della Bella said.

“We’ve spent three-and-a-half years focusing on learning more about our faith,” he noted. “Now, how has that shaped the choices we make and how we live our lives?

“The intent is to provide a greater understanding of the social mission of the church and ways to live it out. How do we treat our neighbor? How do we treat our enemies? How do we treat the poor and vulnerable? The decisions for those things should come directly from our faith,” he said.

The one-day workshop in October called “Why Catholics Work for Justice” also will delve into these questions. It will be offered in three locations:

  •  Oct. 16 from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. at St. Stephen Martyr Church, Hess Lane and Pindell Avenue.
  •  Oct. 18 from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. at Flaget Center, 1935 Lewiston Drive.
  •  Oct. 18 from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. at St. James Church in Elizabethtown, Ky.

The presenter will be Laura Zane Kolmar, director of pastoral services for RENEW International.

To register for one of the workshops, contact Linda McLemore at lmclemore@archlou.org or 448-8581.

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