We have been working for years to help people understand more about their faith through the scriptures. One missing component has been how to easily communicate God's plan of salvation to children. After adults have gone through the Great Adventure Bible Studies, many have asked, how can we pass this on to our kids? Through pilot programs and a great team of writers, Emily has launched a Kickstarter project to raise funds to make the first component in a full children's curriculum available.
It is called "Gen2Rev Storybook: A Walk through the Catholic Bible." It is a companion to the Catholic Bible that walks through the chronological story of salvation history from Genesis to Revelation in a simple format for parents and children to use. Families can read the Bible together and learn the Bible story and discover the 7 sacraments within sacred scripture as well as the mysteries of the rosary, the Creed and God's covenants. It's a critical link to taking the beautiful things of the Catholic church and pointing to their origins in sacred scripture.
The cover illustration depicts Jesus knocking at our door, ready to bring us the dinner of the eucharist!
If you can, please help make it happen! Click here to find Kickstarter project!
We are looking forward to an exciting evening April 23 in Bloomington, MN because Relevant Radio (the radio station on which Jeff hosted Morning Air) is giving him the "Christ Brings Hope" Award for his efforts in Evangelization. It is a beautiful time for us to look back on all the amazing blessings God has given us as we've tried to follow his call and reach the world for Christ. We are hoping to see many familiar faces of those who have labored with Jeff in the Catechetical Institute, the Great Adventure Bible Studies, Relevant Radio, various local parishes where Jeff has taught, fellow Holy Land pilgrims, supportive family and friends.
This event is a fundraiser for Relevant Radio with guest speaker Fr. Rich Simon from Chicago. He's traveled with us to Israel and has been a fabulous promoter for the Great Adventure Bible Studies on his radio show, "Fr. Simon Says." Many other Relevant Radio personalities will also be present.
For those who contribute from the local archdiocese, a donor is giving matching funds designated to the local Catholic school of the donor's choice. For more information on this incentive or to register for the event, visit relevantradio.com
Here is a meditation by one of our pilgrims on her journey along the Via Dolorosa, the path that Jesus walked to the place of his crucifixion in Jerusalem. On each pilgrimage we journey this meaningful path. This past January we had a wonderful group from Canada with us and Leslie Blair was among them. Her comments were also published by the Cochrane Eagle columnist, Warren Harbeck, Ph.D. (www.coffeewithwarren.com for March 26, 2015)
Leslie writes: "We had been to Bethlehem and touched the place of Jesus’ birth. We had crossed the Sea of Galilee – in a storm! We had touched the rock of His agony in the Garden, mindful of our own Gethsemanes. The next day, we would walk the Via Dolorosa, the Jerusalem street on which Jesus carried His cross to the place of His crucifixion. I looked forward to it with combined anticipation and dread. Though I want to walk where Jesus walked, I shrink from suffering; my imagination is vivid; I know how this particular journey ended on that Good Friday.
I pictured a quiet walk, with ample time for solemn meditation at the stations along the way. Perhaps there would be little shrines, gardens and plaques on this street; I thought the street itself would be set aside in some way for the thousands of pilgrims who visit.
The day arrived. Taking turns carrying the large cross, we make our way to the first station, meeting children on their way to school and people walking briskly to work. The first clue that my expectations were unrealistic is our having to squeeze past a garbage truck that was just small enough to negotiate the narrow street. To my surprise, people live and work, sell souvenirs, shop for groceries, take out the garbage, and drink coffee with their neighbours on the Via Dolorosa.
Simple numbered doors with small signs mark most stations along the way. Each station has a story: Jesus falls under the weight of the cross; Jesus meets Mary, His Mother; Simon helps Jesus to carry the cross; Veronica wipes the sweat and blood from Jesus’ face; and onward to the last stations at the traditionally-revered site of His crucifixion, burial, and resurrection, located within the ancient Church of the Holy Sepulchre, built over Golgotha and Jesus’ empty tomb.
People paid us no mind as, hearts aching, we relived the last hours of Jesus. They see so many pilgrims here. What did they feel when He passed by with His cross, I wonder. The Romans used crucifixion as a brutal way to keep the population in line. Most likely, people felt sorry for Jesus, but turned aside in helplessness. Maybe, busy with their own concerns, they didn’t notice at all. Would I have noticed the drama that infamous day in Jerusalem? I don’t know.
How easy it is for us to miss the holy:
What was on Jesus’ heart as He went to His death? I believe it was His deep love – His love for you and me."
–Leslie Blair, Cochrane
Fr. Ralph Jones recently returned from a Holy Land pilgrimage with my wife and me. A few days after our return we received a phone call from him with the most amazing news. We were all in tears over the news that he was healed of cancer!
Fr. Ralph is no ordinary man. After a life as an educator, social worker and US Army Reserve colonel, he graduated from Holy Apostles Seminary in Cromwell, CT, and was ordained to the priesthood at the young age of 69 on June 14, 2003! He then served as a missionary to the Ojibwa in North Dakota, was president of Our Lady of Corpus Christi undergraduate school and now is priest of Stella Maris Chapel, the oldest chapel in the Diocese of Corpus Christi, TX. He holds healing masses there each week.
Besides his beautiful testimony of his healing from stage 4 lung cancer on our pilgrimage to the Holy Land, Fr. Ralph gives an inspiring teaching on why, when we pray, does God miraculously heal some and not others. His joyful and loving presentation will make your day!