Popular TV priest helps Catholics embrace Scripture to fortify faith
HUNTINGTON, Indiana, October 24, 2012 – Even the most ungodly person acknowledges the modern world is coarser than ever. The signs are hard to miss. People think science trumps God; media, politicians, and celebrities regularly vilify Church teaching; even avowed Catholics acquiesce to an imitation of their original commitment.
It’s what Christ referred to as ‘rocky ground’ in one of His parables – a lack of fertile, viable faith for nurturing the ‘seed’ of His teaching.
This "profound crisis of faith has affected many people," Pope Benedict XVI says – and has resulted in the global ‘rocky ground’ of hopelessness, rebellion, cynicism, selfishness, and despair. To refresh devotion to Christ and His teaching – and thus refresh oneself – the Holy Father has invited Catholics worldwide to a Year of Faith (from October 2012 to November 2013) for studying Scripture to renew their faith and the joy of life, and studying the Catechism to refresh their understanding of Church doctrine. He chose October 2012 because it is the double anniversary of the start of the Second Vatican Council (50 years, 1962) and of the Catechism of the Catholic Church (20 years, 1992).
Popular EWTN priest, theologian, and television/radio host, Fr. Mitch Pacwa, S.J., leads Catholics to a transformed understanding of the Pope’s call to action in his new book, The Year of Faith: A Bible Study Guide for Catholics (Our Sunday Visitor, 2012).
The Year of Faith is a step-by-step guide to faith rejuvenation, to rediscovery of one’s direction in life through following Christ more closely. It shows the reader how to integrate every daily component – relationships, morality, work, talent, recreation, all of it – into a meaningful whole. The book builds from the essential belief in Jesus Christ, to assent to His teachings, to conversion of heart and expressions of faith, and ultimately to each person growing into an effective evangelizer by demonstrating his faith in the public square. Each chapter is supplemented with provocative discussion topics relevant to today’s issues, and scriptural cites for examining the teachings further.
“Each person, even those raised as Catholics, goes through a number of ‘conversions’ throughout his life. New ideas and experiences, some of which contradict faith and morals, affect a person’s perspective and how he behaves. At various stages, a person must ask himself, Do I still believe? How does this all make sense and fit together in my life? Answering these questions truthfully in the depths of one’s conscience usually evokes a conversion experience,” says Fr. Pacwa. It is at this juncture that formerly ‘rocky ground’ becomes viable and the person sees and accepts God in a whole new way.
“For someone to live their faith, it has to be loved and interiorized,” says Fr. Pacwa. “Today’s emphasis on secularism, materialism and relativism positions these ideologies as cutting-edge societal evolution – and the Catholic faith as ‘the old way’ of thinking. People need to see, before it’s too late, how destructive these modern philosophies are, and that faith in Jesus Christ brings true contentment now and eternally.”
Archbishop of Chicago, Francis Cardinal George, who wrote the book’s Foreword, says, “Fr. Pacwa’s book presents a formula for breaking out of self-imposed prisons. Using this book should bring light to our minds and joy to our hearts. This is a book for everyone.”
||Our Sunday Visitor
||Fr. Mitch Pacwa, SJ
||96 Pages, Paperback
The world’s largest English-language Catholic publisher, Our Sunday Visitor serves millions of Catholics globally through its publishing, offertory, and communication services. Established in 1912, Our Sunday Visitor publishes a wide range of books including Bibles, biographies of the saints, books by Pope Benedict XVI, children’s books, devotionals, bible studies, inspirational works, and curriculum. Our Sunday Visitor is a not-for-profit organization, returning a portion of net earnings back to the Catholic community through the Our Sunday Visitor Institute. For more information, visit www.osv.com.
Fr. Mitch Pacwa, S.J.
The Year of Faith: A Bible Study Guide for Catholics
1. Why did Pope Benedict declare a Year of Faith for this year?
2. Why did you design a Bible study guide to coincide with it?
3. Why is belief in Jesus Christ the foundational building block for faith?
4. How is an honest look at one’s life and conscience the first step toward closeness with Christ?
5. Why is assent to the Creed likewise integral to faith in Christ?
6. What is conversion, really, for a Catholic who already considers himself a member of the Church?
7. Why are faith and charity mutually dependent on each other?
8. You say in the book that faith cannot exist solely in private, but must coincide with public worship…as in participating in Sunday Mass and other forms of Catholic liturgical worship. Why?
9. The world has its own ‘alternatives’ to Catholic faith beliefs, and many well-meaning Catholics have now accepted them – putting their faith in jeopardy, or pushing it aside altogether. How does this new study guide help them renew their interest and faith in Catholicism?
About the Author
Fr. Mitch Pacwa, S.J.
A respected biblical scholar, Fr. Mitch Pacwa, S.J., is a popular host on EWTN Catholic television network and founder of Ignatius Productions, a Catholic media production apostolate. He established Ignatius Productions in 2000, under the Society of Jesus, whose mission is to teach the scriptures, educate Catholics about the Faith, and promote unity and understanding within the Mystical Body of Christ – the Catholic Church.
Father Pacwa received his B.A. in Philosophy and Theology from the University of Detroit, summa cum laude. He was ordained a Catholic priest in 1976 with the Society of Jesus and then continued his studies and received his Master of Divinity and S.T.B. from the Jesuit School of Theology of Loyola University, magna cum laude. At Vanderbilt University, he received his Master of Arts as well as his Ph.D. in Old Testament. His dissertation was on The Origin of Prophetic Eschatology in Light of Ephraimite Levitical Narrative Traditions.
Author of numerous books, some of Fr. Pacwa’s titles include:
- How to Listen When God is Speaking: A Guide for Modern-Day Catholics (The Word Among Us Press, 2011)
- Saint Paul: A Bible Study Guide for Catholics (Our Sunday Visitor, 2008)
- Saint Paul on the Power of the Cross: A Bible Study Guide for Catholics (Our Sunday Visitor, 2007)
- Forgive Me Father, for I Am Frustrated: Growing in Your Faith Even When It Isn't Easy Being Catholic (Servant Books, 1997)
- Go In Peace: Your Guide to the Purpose and Power of Confession (Ascension Press, 1992)
- Catholics and the New Age: How Good People Are Being Drawn into Jungian Psychology, the Enneagram and the Age of Aquarius (Servant Books, 1992)
He has taught at the high school, university, and seminary levels. He has also lectured at hundreds of conferences and churches around the world, and has been host and guest on numerous international radio and television programs. He is best known for his appearances on the Eternal Word Television Network (EWTN), where he currently hosts two programs – “Threshold of Hope” and “EWTN LIVE.” Father Pacwa also serves as the weekly host of EWTN Radio “Open Line” program.
Fluent in 12 languages, Fr. Pacwa has a unique understanding of the peoples and cultures of the Middle East. Father’s extensive travels to the Holy Land have inspired him to write the “Holy Land Prayer Book,” (Ignatius Productions, 2004) which can be used as a prayer guide for any pilgrim traveling to the Holy Land. Father Pacwa also has the privilege of being bi-ritual, which means he celebrates both the Maronite Mass of the Eastern Catholic Church, and the Roman Rite Mass of the Roman Catholic Church.
Every Christmas, Father Pacwa leads a pilgrimage to the Holy Land. His speaking schedule, pilgrimage information, books, CDs and DVDs are available on his web site at www.fathermitchpacwa.org. Father Pacwa is on Facebook at www.Facebook.com/FrMitchPacwa