Thomas said to him, “Master, we do not know where you are going; how can we know the way?” Jesus said to him, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” – John 14:5-6
On Oct. 14, a team of faith leaders at St. Ann Catholic Church in DeBary kicked off a seven-month adult education series based on Bishop John Noonan’s “The Way, the Truth, the Life” video series. Forty people – from teens to seniors, from St. Ann and neighboring parishes – participated in the first of eight sessions that will explore the teachings of the Catholic Church as they relate to the important issues of our time, such as the definition of life, marriage, freedom, science and technology, and more.
“We have Bible studies, and we have adult education that covers various topics, but this is more in-depth,” said Sam Hallman, director of faith formation. “It includes the Bible but it actually gets to the meat of what we believe in and why we believe it.
“We say, ‘I know as a Catholic I believe in this,’ but then we all have different opinions about the issues and that is where it gets fun,” she continued. “Everybody has an opinion. This delves into how our opinions correlate with the doctrine of the Catholic Church.”
“The Way, the Truth, the Life” video series was launched Dec. 1, 2013. Available in English and Spanish, the series is aimed at helping people know and understand the core tenets of the Catholic faith, and just as important, how to integrate those tenets into their daily lives. The short video messages are augmented with supporting materials, such as discussion questions, information on saints, and prayers.
The first session of the St. Ann series explored the Church’s definition of life. The evening opened with a prayer and a viewing of “The Meaning of Life” video. Then Cathy Mojock, parish business manager and the evening’s facilitator, delved into the topic at hand.
“The meaning of life is a constant, reoccurring theme in our Church,” she said. “Why is the theme of life and human dignity always coming up in our teachings? Why do we spend so much time on it? Because understanding the foundational belief of what is life is the first step in understanding the Church’s moral teachings.
The evening continued with small group discussions centered on general topics, such as “What can I do as an individual to help society value human life in all of its stages,” as well as specific topics, such as abortion, end of life, and human trafficking.
Hallman said she hopes that people would walk away with a greater knowledge of what they believe and why they believe, a closer relationship with God, and a means of opening up discussions with their families at home. Participant Ben Parojino was certain to do just that.
“Understanding where our Church stands on issues is important because how can we represent that point of view if we don’t understand it,” said Parojino. “I am going to take away a better understanding about the issues we face when it comes to respect for life. I loved the fact that we all had different points of view at the table. We got different perspectives of where people were coming from and that is what this whole community is about. It was a great program.”
To learn more about “The Way, the Truth, the Life” video series, visit www.orlandodiocese.org/waytruthlife.