The celebration of Advent and the Joy of Christmas might still be fresh in our hearts; nevertheless, it will not be long before we enter into another series of holy times; namely, the Season of Lent, Holy Week and ultimately the seven week celebration of Easter. If Advent and Christmas remind us of our need for redemption, then Lent & Easter remind us of who, why and how our redemption is accomplished. It is a serious time for all Christians.

There are numerous ways for each person to enter into the spirit of Lent and Easter; e.g. increased time in personal prayer, Stations of the Cross, making the effort to celebrate the Eucharist during the week, fasting, going to Our Lord in the Sacrament of Reconciliation. St. Mark’s Parish will offer another way for parishioners to use Lent as a time for their personal spiritual enrichment; namely, a Scripture Study based on the Passion and Resurrection of Our Lord.

This will be a 7 week study that focuses only on those sections of the 4 Gospels related to those final days leading up to Our Lord’s arrest and crucifixion, and those stories related to his Resurrection. If you are looking for fodder for your Lenten prayer, this is for you. As those who participated in the Study of the Acts of the Apostles will tell you, you do not need to be a scripture scholar. You come not because of what you know; rather, you come because of what you want to learn. Everybody is in the same boat! The following are some details that should help you make your decision. Don’t hesitate to invite family or friends to join you.

Dates
January 17th, 24th, 31st, February 7th, 28th,  March 7th and 14th. There is no study on February 14st (Ash Wednesday) nor February 21st (Fr. Benn will be out of town).

Format
First hour is devoted to discussion moderated by Fr. Benn and the final 20-30 minutes are spent viewing a video presentation by a Catholic Scholar.

 Cost of materials
$13.00 N.B. It would be helpful to us if you would contact the Parish Office (215) 788-2319 informing us of your intentions to participate in this Study. Doing this enables us to order your personal materials ahead of time.

Location & Time
St Ann’s Church Hall. 7:00pm — 8:30pm

 

Some additional information…

What is it?
A gathering of Catholic adults who are interested in learning more about the Sacred Scriptures and the Catholic Church’s understanding of them.

What if I don’t know the answers?
That’s just the point, just about everyone doesn’t know. They participate in the parish study to learn. One doesn’t have to be a Scripture theologian to qualify for a Scripture Study; the qualification is that one wants to learn. Those who participate come from all walks of life: high school graduates, college graduates, full time Moms/Dads, couples/ singles, senior citizens, happily married, separated/ divorced, widowed, those active in the parish and those working their way back into the life of the Church. They can be from St. Marks, St. Ann’s or friends from neighboring parishes.

Models?
There are different models for Scripture Studies. Some focus on the Readings for the coming week; others pick certain stories from the Scriptures that people are familiar with; others target a specific book of the Bible and focus on it. St. Mark’s Scripture Study follows the model of the successful and long running Little Rock Scripture Study Programs. This focuses on one book of the Bible and focuses on it for 7- 10 study sessions. This spring, St, Mark’s Scripture Study will focus on the Passion & Resurrection Accounts of Our Lord. Basically, it will reflect on those days starting with Our Lord’s triumphant and final entry into Jerusalem which we celebrate on Palm Sunday; the antagonistic relation between Him and the religious authorities; his final miracles, etc. This series was chosen because, it offers a wonderful way for you to participate in the spirituality of Lent and Easter.

Format?
On the first evening of the study, participants are given two booklets which they are required to purchase for $13.00. One booklet contains both the commentary on each of the Gospel passages that we will reflect and the commentary needed for our group discussions. The second booklet contains suggested questions for the participant to answer. Each week, the participants are asked to reflect on 2 designated chapters. Those two chapters become the framework for the following week’s 1 hour group discussion. One is never required or asked to share their reflection; it is not mandatory. One can sit and listen to everyone else’s comments. However, the interaction that evolves from the give-and-take of this sharing is amazing. The entire interaction is facilitated by Fr. Benn. The evening concludes with a 20-30 minute video, in which a scripture theologian comments on the chapters we reviewed.

Who?
You are welcome to invite a friend, family member or people from neighboring parishes to participate.

Recommendations
By its nature, this is not a program in which one can make an occasional visit. Why? Because each week’s reflection presumes that the participant is familiar with the previous week’s discussion. The Scriptures should never be taken out of the context in which they are written; those preceding chapters are the background against the future chapters are written and are understood. This doesn’t mean that if a participant needs to miss a session because of illness, weather or a family or work related obligation that they are disqualified. However, one won’t get as much out of this study if they take a pick and choose approach; the program is not designed with this in mind.