During 2014, the Lay Degree Program is offering four online
noncredit reading programs aimed at helping Catholics, lay
ministers and others to grow in their faith and in their readiness
for ministry on behalf of the Church.
In a reading community, the participants read a book together on
a theological topic and then discuss the contents online using
Saint Meinrad's Moodle platform. Books are selected on the basis of
reliable authorship, readability and relevance to Christian life.
The online discussions are moderated by Saint Meinrad's Br. Zachary
These offerings do not carry academic credit, so the pressure is
lower than in a regular college or graduate course in theology.
Those who complete all assignments will be provided documentation
of their successful completion, for purposes of continuing
education or ministry certification requirements.
The participant fee for each reading community is $40,
which includes the price of the book, which will be mailed to you
before the program begins.
Reading Community I: Pleading, Cursing,
Praising: Conversing with God through the Psalms by Irene
Nowell. Collegeville, MN: The Liturgical Press, 2013, 94 pages.
Dates: February 2-April 19, 2014. Register by
January 15, 2014.
From the book jacket: "Nowell maintains that the psalms teach us
to tell our story, to cry out in pain, and to give praise to God.
They also teach us to listen-to the voice of God, the voice of
Christ, the voices of the people around us, and the voice of all
Sister Irene Nowell, OSB, is a member of St. Scholastica
Monastery in Atchison, KS, and served on the translation team for
the revised Old Testament of the New American Bible. She is a past
president of the Catholic Biblical Association and a popular
teacher. According to Abbot Jerome Kodell: "No one knows the psalms
better than Irene Nowell."
Reading Community II: The Sermon on the
Mount: The Perfect Measure of the Christian Life by Frank J.
Matera. Collegeville, MN: The Liturgical Press, 2013, 121
Dates: April 27-July 26, 2014. Register by
April 12, 2014.
From the book jacket: "Saint Augustine once described the Sermon
on the Mount as 'the perfect measure of the Christian life.' Taking
his cue from Augustine, Frank Matera provides and exposition of the
sermon for contemporary readers who wish to use the sermon as the
standard by which they live their lives every day."
Frank J. Matera, former professor of Biblical Studies at the
Catholic University of America and former president of the Catholic
Biblical Association, is pastor of St. Mary's Church in Simsbury,
Connecticut. Fr. Ronald D. Witherup, SS, comments: "In this
deceptively small book, Matera offers an impressive interpretation
of Jesus' teaching that is attentive to both ethical and spiritual
dimensions of the text…. I highly recommend it."
Reading Community III: The Eucharist:
What Do We Believe? by Fainche Ryan. Dublin: The Columba
Press, 2012, 92 pages.
Dates: August 17-October 18, 2014. Register by
August 5, 2014.
From the book jacket: "The book is intended for adults who wish
to engage in a critical and informed manner with their faith, who
wish to begin to engage in theological reflection as they seek to
enter ever more deeply into relationship with God."
Fainche Ryan is a lecturer in theology at the Mater Dei
Institute of Dublin City University. She holds a doctorate in
theology from the University of St. Thomas Aquinas (Angelicum)
Reading Community IV: Chasing Mystery:
A Catholic Biblical Theology by Carey Walsh. Collegeville, MN:
The Liturgical Press, 2012, 164 pages.
Dates: October 27-December 20, 2014. Register
by October 15, 2014.
From the book jacket: "Amid the prevailing skepticism and
restlessness, says Walsh, we must relearn the skill of trust in
reading Scripture. The aim is to experience God through holy
writing…. She insists that the pages of the Bible do not simply
describe divine presence; they evoke it in the process of
Carey Walsh is an associate professor of Old Testament at