Catholicism – by Bishop Robert Barron
Each Wednesday at 6:00 pm
Place: Mac Mahon Center
June 6th to August 15
(no meeting on Wednesday, July 4)
What is Catholicism?
A 2,000-year-old living tradition? A worldview? A way of life? A relationship? A mystery? In Catholicism Father Robert Barron examines all these questions and more, seeking to capture the body, heart and mind of the Catholic faith.
Bishop Robert Barron created the groundbreaking CATHOLICISM Adult Study Program as a thematic presentation of what Catholics believe and why, so all adults can come to a deeper understanding of the Catholic Faith. Not a video lecture, Church history, or scripture study, this engaging and interesting formational program uses the art, architecture, literature, music, and all the treasures of the Catholic Tradition to illuminate the timeless teachings of the Church.
Episode 1 – Amazed and Afraid: The Revelation of God Become Man
The strange and dangerous words of Jesus of Nazareth set up a drama that will culminate in a surprising battle between two kings, and in the wake of this conflict, an empire will be defeated – and the world will be changed. Bishop Robert Barron illuminates and explains the conviction of the Catholic Faith that Jesus of Nazareth is the promised Messiah, and the revelation of God become man. He shows how Jesus fulfills the four tasks of the Messiah, according to the Old and New Testaments, and how the living legacy of Christ, God and Messiah, is proclaimed by the Church. Join Bishop Barron as he addresses some of the most controversial questions about the life and identity of Jesus Christ and travels through the mysterious and sacred places of the Holy Land of Israel and the eternal city of Rome.
Episode 2 – Happy Are We: The Teachings of Jesus
The revelation of Jesus as God is accompanied by a stunning invitation to a unique new way of life, explained in the teachings of Jesus. To every generation, the words of Jesus have proven fascinating, disorienting, sometimes confounding, deeply transformative, and always unforgettable. Bishop Barron highlights the Beatitudes, the path of non-violence and lessons of forgiveness, care for the poor and our relationship with God as presented in the parables. Jesus’ teachings are illuminated during Bishop Barron’s pilgrimages to Poland, Germany, Spain and New York City. Commentaries at these sites also show how the Catholic Church is a living culture, which gives witness to the inviolable dignity of the human person.
Episode 3 – That Than Which Nothing Greater Can Be Thought: The Ineffable Mystery of God
Bishop Barron considers St. Anselm’s description of God as “that than which nothing greater can be thought,” and goes on to explain St. Thomas Aquinas’ arguments which support the claim that God truly exists. He also speaks from the Catholic tradition about the nature of God and the challenging question of evil and the existence of God. To provide a vision of the ineffable majesty and mystery of God, Bishop Barron invites us to the heights of the Sinai desert and makes his way to mysterious Istanbul, walks the glittering streets of Paris and then captivates the viewer with the glories of the Sistine Chapel in Rome.
Episode 4 – Our Tainted Nature’s Solitary Boast: Mary, The Mother of God
In this episode, Bishop Barron masterfully correlates the Catholic Faith’s testimony to the revelation of God in Christ with the vivid practices of reverence offered to his Mother. Mary is explained as “an on-going presence, an actor in the life of the Church.” Bishop Barron journeys to the humble remains of Mary’s house in Nazareth, to the ruins of the ancient city of Ephesus and to the great Marian shrines of Lourdes and Guadalupe to explain the Church’s teachings about Mary as the Mother of God, the Immaculate Conception and the dogma of the Assumption.
Episode 5 – The Indispensable Men: Peter, Paul, and the Missionary Adventure
Bishop Barron calls Peter and Paul “two indispensable men, the ones without whom the church never would have emerged and survived.” In telling each man’s story, Bishop Barron shows how the Holy Spirit worked through all the apostles and disciples to build the Church. Following the trail of these apostles as they took the Gospel to the ends of the earth, Bishop Barron presents the foundations of the apostolic faith, particularly the revelation of Christ’s resurrection from the dead.
Episode 6 – A Body Both Suffering And Glorious: The Mystical Union of Christ and The Church
Clearly answering the question, “What is the Church?” Bishop Barron presents the reality of the Church as “one, holy, catholic and apostolic.” The Body of Christ can be seen on earth from the Church’s center in Rome to the cities of New York, Sao Paolo, Manila, Namugongo and Uganda, while still escaping total understanding as the mystical union between Christ and his Church. Bishop Barron also explores the Catholic conviction that the life and presence of Christ continues to embrace humanity in all its joys and sorrows through the presence of the Church.
Episode 7 – Word Made Flesh, True Bread Of Heaven: The Mystery of The Liturgy and The Eucharist
Bishop Barron explores the ancient practices of the Church’s worship that endure to this very day, and the notion that “all value is summed up in the liturgy, the supreme act by which we commune with God.” Considered by the Catholic Faith to be “the source and summit” of its identity and mission, the Eucharist is the central practice of the Church’s culture. Bishop Barron describes all the parts of the Mass, and shows how the Sacred Liturgy embodies the whole of the Faith in diverse places as Jerusalem, Rome, Chicago, Orvieto, Mexico City.
Episode 8 – A Vast Company Of Witnesses: The Communion Of Saints
The story of the Church is told in the examples of those men and women who dedicated their lives to knowing and serving Jesus Christ. The Catholic Faith is made visible in real human lives. Bishop Barron gives consideration to some of the Church’s greatest heroes, and demonstrates how their extraordinary examples display both the passion and creative potential of the Catholic Church. Highlighting Katharine Drexel, Therese of Lisieux, Edith Stein, and Mother Teresa of Calcutta, Bishop Barron tells the story of the Church as a vast company of witness who are called by Christ to be a Communion of Saints.
Episode 9 – The Life of His Love: Prayer and the Life of the Spirit
In this lesson, Bishop Barron explores Catholic spirituality, which is centered on prayer. As the Catechism of the Catholic Church states: “Prayer is the lifting up of the mind and the heart to God.” On pilgrimage to the places where the great saints and spiritual masters lived, Bishop Barron explores the different types of prayer: contemplation; adoration; petition; and intercession. In telling the stories of Catholics like Thomas Merton, St. Theresa of Avila and St. John of the Cross, Bishop Barron demonstrates how the human person can be transformed through prayer that manifests a deep, spiritual commitment centered in Christ.
Episode 10 – World Without End: The Last Things
Explore the Church’s conviction that life here and now is preparation for an extraordinary world that is yet to come – a supernatural destiny. Bishop Barron presents the Catholic vision of death, judgment, heaven, hell and purgatory as he journeys to Florence, Ireland and Rome. The vision of the Church sees beyond this world and invites us to consider a world without end. Bishop Barron shows how this vision is supported by the mystery and truth of the Resurrection of Jesus.