Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
Within the next week or so many schools will begin the summer break. During those 7-8 weeks families will vacation, travel or simply enjoy the weather outside. Upon their return to the classroom in late summer, students will be greeted by teachers and administrators with remarks like: What did you do so get so tall? Or, boy have you changed! It’s all about the mystery of growth. Growth is mysterious, hidden and surprising.
In today’s Scriptures we likewise hear about the mysteriousness of growth. That which is alive grows, and to stay alive things must continue to grow. Our Lord speaks today of the growth of the Kingdom. That Kingdom advances not only externally, remember that the Church started with 12 and now there is over 1 billion, but also internally. Did He not say, “The Kingdom of God is within you.”
So how well is that Kingdom advancing and growing within YOU?
Two years ago our parish subscribed to a very important and helpful resource to facilitate your continued growth in the wisdom and understanding of the Faith. It is called FORMED. To date only a few parishioners have taken advantage of this excellent online platform filled with over 4,000 Catholic studies, movies, audio dramas, talks, e-books, even cartoons for children. FORMED has content from over 60 apostolates, including Augustine Institute, Ignatius Press and the Knights of Columbus. As your pastor, I thought this would be an excellent means to keep you not only informed, but help to develop your understanding of what it means to be a Catholic. It is a very expensive program and it would be unfortunate if it were to be discontinued for lack of interest.
For the time being our parish will continue to be using the material on FORMED to support our ministries and provide continuing education for staff members and parishioners, as well as outreach for our sick and homebound members. You have easy access to all the material on FORMED. It can be enjoyed on your computer or on your television with an inexpensive Roku device or Apple TV. You can even listen on your phone. Many relevant topics are covered. Perhaps you are hesitant to return to the Sacrament of Reconciliation (Confession) after a long absence? Watch “Forgiven: The Transforming Power of Confession.” Or, would you like to be more confident in answering your teenager’s questions about the Gospels? Watch “Lectio: The Case for Jesus.” Have you despaired of finding good movies that your family can enjoy together on Friday night? There are hundreds of engaging titles from which to choose.
My hope is that the content on FORMED will enrich, deepen and inspire your faith. Please let me know if you are interested in continuing our subscription and how it has benefited your life.