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The Word of God

Foundations of Scripture


with DC4EC Scripture Team

Calendar Sep 12, 2019 at 6:30 pm, runs for 30 weeks

This one-year program has four specific objectives:

1) To provide a framework for making Sunday Mass more meaningful. At Mass we hear three readings from Scripture; but often, they seem disjointed and lacking in context. In the Gospel, we often hear references to “at it was written…” Really? Where? The lector may announce a reading as coming from Baruch.  Okay. Who is Baruch? This course provides a grounding for Scripture, a Foundation.

2) To provide guidance for how to read the Bible. The Bible is not a textbook, nor is it a novel. There are narrative books, historical books, songs, poetry, laws. Further, every passage has a literal context (what is happening or being said); but we also need to understand the typology of key passages, guidance for moral behavior, and prefiguration of events yet to happen. Additionally, between books there are quotations, allusions, and echoes. How are we to make sense of all this?

3) To provide guidance for how to understand Scripture.  Our modern world's orientation toward science and a strict imposition of chronology interferes with our ability to understand Scripture. We need to focus less on the 'what' and concentrate on the 'who'. Scripture is God telling us who he is; and equally important, God reminding us who we are because we have forgotten.

4) To demonstrate how Scripture is inculcated into every facet of Catholic life. Are Catholics Bible Christians? YES! Scripture permeates our Liturgy; Scripture is the basis for our Sacramental life; Scripture provides depth and richness to our Life of Prayer. Scripture is one of the greatest gifts God has given to us.

The following topics comprise our core curriculum:

  • The Biblical Canon
  • The Four Senses of Scripture
  • The Historical Narrative
  • Wisdom Literature
  • The Prophets
  • The Life of Christ
  • The Early Church
  • The Final Exhortation
  • Scripture and the Life of the Church

 All facilitators for this program are graduates of the Augustine Institute:

  • Tom Ryan, MA Theology
  • Sue Athey, MA Sacred Scripture
  • Phil Pratt, MA Theology
  • Lyn Rooney, MA Pastoral/Biblical Theology
  • Nick Meister, MA Theology

For more information, please contact Tom Ryan at

If paying in full, please use PROMO CODE "PAYINFULL" at checkout for 10% discount

Foundations of Scripture - The New Testament


with DC4EC Scripture Team

Calendar Feb 6, 2020 at 6:30 pm, runs for 12 weeks

It's not too late!

Foundations of Scripture is offered as a 28-week course that runs from Sept to May.

HOWEVER, you can still sign up for the second half of the course that covers the New Testament.  This Spring, we will be covering:

  • The Life of Christ (Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John)'
  • The Early Church (Resurrection to Pentecost)
  • Paul's Missionary Journeys and Early Church Controversies
  • Paul's Letters (Maintaining Unity in the New Church)
  • The Pastoral Letters
  • Revelation (The Final Exhortation)

We will wrap up with a discussion on using Scripture as a Guide for the Spiritual Life.

Come join us for the final 12-weeks of this powerful program

The Revelation to John


with Phil Pratt

Calendar Mar 2, 2020 at 6:30 pm, runs for 8 weeks

Understanding the Book of Revelation is difficult because it conveys so many different levels of meaning. The book must first be read within the historical setting of first-century Israel, when the Judean revolt against Rome led to civil war and, eventually, to the destruction of Jerusalem and the desecration of the Temple. The book must be understood as describing a great but largely unseen battle that takes place, not in the heavenly realm, but on Earth. Revelation’s extensive use of bridal imagery points to Christ as the bridegroom and the Church as His bride.

Key points to consider:

  • the theme of marriage is central to not only Revelation, but also to the whole Bible
  • that marriage bookends the whole of Scripture
  • that marriage is the most intimate of covenants
  • there are four main approaches to reading and dating the Book of Revelation: Historist, Preterist, Futurist, and Idealist
  • the five keys to understanding the Book of Revelation include: 1) knowing the Old Testament; 2) Understanding the symbolism used; 3) Revelation was written about ‘imminent’ events; 4) the mystery unfolds in symbolism; 5) Jesus reigns for Jesus is the King of Kings
  • apocalyptic style of writing

Together, we will journey through:

  • Introduction and the Inaugural Vision
  • Letters to the Seven Churches
  • Visions of the Lord, the Scroll, and the Lamb
  • The Seven Seals
  • The Seven Angels and the Seven Trumpets
  • The Seven Figures
  • The Seven Angels and the Seven Bowls of Wrath
  • The Fall of the Harlot City
  • The Marriage Supper of the Lamb
  • Visions of Judgment
  • The new Heaven, new Earth, new Jerusalem
  • Epilogue and Benediction

Come! Join us for this 8-week guided journey through perhaps the most confusing and misunderstood book in all of Scripture.

The instructor for this program is Mr. Phil Pratt, MA Theology

For more information, please contact Phil directly at

The Synoptic Gospels


with Sue Athey

Calendar Mar 2, 2020 at 6:30 pm, runs for 8 weeks

The Gospels of the New Testament are the preeminent source for the saving truth and moral discipline which Christ fulfilled in his life and teaching. The term ‘gospel’ comes from the phrase ‘good tidings’ or ‘good news’ which originally was proclaimed orally by the apostles and first followers of Jesus Christ and demonstrated by their example and  the institutions they established. Later, their message of salvation was written down by the apostles and other men associated with the apostles under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit (CCC 75-76). The word “Gospels” has come to mean the first four books of the New Testament which are the divinely inspired accounts of the birth, life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, the second person of the Trinity who became man. The Gospels are the heart of all the Scriptures “because they are our principal source for the life and teaching of the Incarnate Word, Our Savior” (Dei Verbum 18).

The term “Synoptic Gospels” is applied to the Gospels of Matthew, Mark, and Luke. They are called this because they tell of Jesus’ life and teaching from a similar perspective. The three Gospels have a great amount of material in common amounting to about one-third of their whole narrative of Christ’s words and deeds. They also follow roughly the same order in recounting Christ’s life. The fourth Gospel, The Gospel According to John, varies greatly in content, style, etc., and is therefore not included in the category of Synoptic Gospels.

While there is much material in common in the Gospels of Matthew, Mark, and Luke, there are also stories, parables and teachings of Jesus that are unique to each them. In addition, the style and intended audience differs for each of the Synoptic Gospels. The “synoptic problem” is the name given by biblical scholars to the apparent relation between these three Gospels and how to account for their differences and similarities.

This course begins with an overview of different methods of Scripture study found in the Christian scholarship today as well as a look at the Early Church Fathers and what we learn from them regarding the authenticity, audience, and intent of each of the Gospel writers. We will then look at the life of Christ and his teachings as presented in the Gospels of Matthew, Mark and Luke from the perspective of seeing the three accounts together presenting a more complete picture of Christ’s life and message of eternal salvation.

Course Objectives:

  1. Examine key themes of each of the Synoptic Gospels, the author's audience, and intent
  2. Comparison of early Church exegesis and the Living Tradition of the Church with the modern techniques and basis of Historical Critical Methods and a way forward. Discuss the "synoptic problem" and "Q"
  3. Gain an understanding and appreciation for the life and teachings of Christ as presented in the Synoptic Gospels with the intent to deepen understanding of and faith in Christ, the Son of God, and enrich our life of prayer

Come and explore the depth and mystery of our Saviour in this 8-week program.

The instructor for this course is Sue Athey, MA Theology. Sue recently taught this course to our diocese's diaconate candidates!


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