The small groups that gathered for our Lenten DVD based study are now in session. If you've missed a week or weren't able to join a group, the study is provided on this page during the Lenten Season.
If you would like to obtain a copy of this study for a donation, please contact Debbie at or call 704-825-9600, ext. 26.
Pillars of the Church - week one
SCRIPTURE: Romans 6:1-5
What then shall we say? Shall we persist in sin that grace may abound? Of course not! How can we who died to sin yet live in it? Or are you unaware that we who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death?
We were indeed buried with him through baptism into death, so that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might live in newness of life.
For if we have grown into union with him through a death like his, we shall also be united with him in the resurrection. We know that our old self was crucified with him, so that our sinful body might be done away with, that we might no longer be in slavery to sin.
1. What is the most memorable sacramental moment in your life? What do you remember about it? How do you remember feeling?
2. Do you believe your Baptism makes a difference in your life? How do you understand that difference? What would that difference be for you?
3. What have been some of the challenges you have faced in living the “process” of Baptism especially in your adult life? Why? How have you mastered these challenges?
Continue to wash all over me, O living Water,
cleansing my heart and my mind and my entire life.
Give me the strength to embrace you
and carry you with me each moment of every day.
May I always appreciate this new relationship I have with you through this water and may I always treasure
the brothers and sisters you have washed me into a relationship with together.
Transformed and alive, may we come to possess
the fullness of your kingdom.
HANDBOOK FOR LITURGICAL STUDIES, VOL. IV: SACRAMENTS AND SACRAMENTALS. Anscar Chupingco, O.S.B. Liturgical Press, Collegeville, MN.
THE SACRAMENTS WE CELEBRATE: Peter Vaghi. Ave Maria Press, Notre Dame, IN.
THE CATECHISM OF THE CATHOLIC CHURCH: C.D.F. Vatican City.
Pillars of the Church - week two
SCRIPTURE: Hebrews 4: 11-13
Therefore, let us strive to enter into that rest, so that no one may fall after the same example of disobedience.
Indeed, the word of God is living and effective, sharper than any two-edged sword, penetrating even between soul and spirit, joints and marrow, and able to discern reflections and thoughts of the heart. No creature is concealed from him, but everything is naked and exposed to the eyes of him to whom we must render an account.
1. Do you have a favorite scripture or bible story? Why? What does it teach you?
2. What is the most challenging message of Jesus you believe the Scriptures challenge us to live? What challenges you in the church’s teaching? What have you/what can you do about that challenge?
3. Do you give the authoritative teaching of the church the same standing in the Word of God as you do the Bible? Is this easy or hard for you? Why/why not?
Word of God, come down to earth
and revealed to us in the sacred words of scripture
and in the breath of the Holy Spirit in your church,
fill us with a desire to live and proclaim Your word and life in everything that we do.
May we be faithful to your story in our story
and may we embrace your Word and your will
as we hear it and live it in the world each day.
You have created us for this and we are grateful.
(search “understanding-the- bible”)
DEI VERBUM: DOGMATIC CONSTITUTION ON REVELATION: Documents of the Second Vati can Council
HEAR THE WORD OF THE LORD: Martin Connell. Liturgical Training Publications, Chicago, IL.
NEW TESTAMENT BASICS FOR CATHOLICS:
John Bergsma. Ave Maria Press, Notre Dame, IN.
THE PAULIST BIBLICAL COMMENTARY: Jose Chia, et. al. Paulist Press, Mahwah, NJ.
Pillars of the Church - week three
SCRIPTURE: 1 Corinthians 11: 23-26
For I received from the Lord what I also handed on to you, that the Lord Jesus, on the night he was handed over, took bread, and, after he had given thanks, broke it and said, “This is my body that is for you. Do this in remembrance of me.”
In the same way also the cup, after supper, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood. Do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of me.” For as often as you eat this bread and drink the cup, you proclaim the death of the Lord until he comes.
1. Can you recall an experience or two where the celebration and reception of the Eucharist were particularly moving or transforming events for you? Why?
2. How do you embrace Augustine’s understanding that we are transformed into the Body of Christ at the table; that we become what we eat? How do you nourish others?
3. Who sits at table with you? Who are you comfortable with? Who is left out? What can you do to create that sense of “communion” spoken about by Father?
Make us your Bread, Loving Father,
then break us up and pass us around.
Make us into the Wine of your covenant
then offer us as refreshment to all who are weary or find life burdensome.
Teach us to take the precious gift of Jesus the Lord
that we find in the Sacrament of the Altar
and bring it to others in our words and actions.
Help us be the Body of Christ in the World,
satisfying all human hungers on our journey home to you.
AROUND THE TABLE: R. Scott Hurd. Ave Maria Press, Notre Dame, IN.
BECOME WHAT YOU RECEIVE: John McKenna, Resource Publications/LTP, Chicago, IL.
EUCHARIST: MEAL AND THE WORD. Ghislain Lafont. Paulist Press, Mahwah, NJ.
LITURGY WITH STYLE AND GRACE, THIRD ED.: Gabe Huck. Liturgical Training Publications,
MYSTICAL BODY, MYSTICAL VOICE: Carstens and Martis. Liturgical Training Publications,
Pillars of the Church - week four
SCRIPTURE: 2 Corinthians 4: 7-11
But we hold this treasure in earthen vessels, that the surpassing power may be of God and not from us.
We are afflicted in every way, but not constrained; perplexed, but not driven to despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed; always carrying about in the body the dying of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be manifested in our body.
For we who live are constantly being given up to death for the sake of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may be manifested in our mortal flesh.
1. Do you see a distinction between your Catholic expression of the Christian faith and other Christians’ expression? Does this make you comfortable or uncomfortable? Why/why not?
2. How do you understand the notion “the dignity of the human person” in relationship to yourself as well as to others? Do you see yourself as a reflection of God’s creation? Are you able to honor that in others regardless of the challenges of their personality or circumstances?
3. Father said “our struggle is never alone…salvation is more than a you thing, it is an us thing.” What part do you play in helping others work out an embrace of this gift of God’s salvation to all?
You are all we need, Lord God.
You: connected through the hearts and lives of others.
You: speaking through our created world and through your church.
Help us to see you in all these faces and in all these many varied places
and assist us also in responding to You
by connecting ourselves to the goodness of your creation
and to the gift of your love we find in others hearts.
(search “Social Justice” and “Moral Theology” and ”Faithful Citizenship”)
CREATION, GOD and HUMANITY: Gloria chaab. Paulist Press, Mahwah, NJ.
JESUS AND THE CHURCH: ONE, HOLY,
CATHOLIC, APOSTOLIC. (text book). Ave Maria Press, Notre Dame, IN.
LAUDATO SI: Francis, Bishop of Rome. Vatican Polyglot Press, Vatican City.
REBUILT: White and Corcoran. Ave Maria Press, Notre Dame, IN.
SEEK JUSTICE THAT YOU MAY LIVE:
David Hollen bach, S.J. Paulist Press, Mahwah, NJ.
THE CATHOLIC THING (5 th Printing): Rosemary Haughton. Templegate Publishers, Springfield, IL.
WHAT MAKES US CATHOLIC: Thomas Groome. Harper Collins Publishers, San Francisco, CA.