Friday, March 19, 2004

Redux of the Borromeo Project

A couple of comments and emails have arrived asking what the Borromeo Project is. It is my evil brainchild. Here was my problem.

In my little time as a priest I have encountered this phenomenon. Most Catholics are well meaning but woefully ignorant. Also, when a priest wants to lead adult formation class, he is left with a scatter shot method for bringing the truths of the faith to the table principally because no good standard curriculum exists. Lastly, in larger parishes people don't know each other because of the Mass Bubble that people exist in. So what's a priest to do?

I created a program of adult formation that centers on daily readings and weekly discussions. The year is divided into four ten-week sessions. Participants have short readings for themselves for each day of the week. The daily questions focus upon mastering the content of the material read. Then in the weekly sessions, the small group, ideally lead by a priest, explores the implications of what they have read. The book would come in two forms, the participant’s manual and the leader’s manual. The only difference between them would be that the leader’s manual has an answer key and a full text for the weekly prayer sessions.

I have dubbed this The Borromeo Project. The first year will focus on the Catechism, the second year on the VII documents, and the third year, the encyclicals of John Paul II. It is in my mind to also create an accompanying format for high school youth groups but that will have to wait. If I can get the parents to convert more fully to the demands of Faith in Christ, then the sky's the limit after that.

Please pray for me and for the success of this work. Michael O'Brien said something interesting to me about this. He said, "The work must stand on its own." I recognize that this might not be Ignatius Press's cup of tea. It might be better distributed through OSV or a publisher that specializes in educational formats.

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