Image provided by Kevin J. Banet
Catholics know that consecrated life is a gift to the Church and an evangelical witness to the world.
But how can this gift be better understood? Why not use an online method to teach others?
In 1996, Pope St. John Paul II wrote the apostolic exhortation Vita Consecrata. Its sub-title is "On the consecrated life and its mission in the Church and in the world."
Following on the heels of that document, the late eminent theologian Fr. John A. Hardon, S.J., wrote a kind of “Cliff Notes” on the exhortation called Catholic Catechism on the Consecrated Life.
In that booklet, Fr. Hardon wrote,
The Holy Father entitles his document Consecrated Life. The terminology is not really new, but it does reflect a development of doctrine in Christian spirituality. For centuries, the ordinary term was “religious life” which is still a valid expression of what we might now call one form of consecrated life. As we shall see in our analysis of the Pope’s exhortation, consecrated life has now assumed a wider meaning.
Online Vita Consecrata Study Project
Why not make Fr. Hardon’s study guide available to all, along with quiz questions in a free online format? That way, religious communities, dioceses and individuals could study the document, take quizzes, and learn more fully the Holy Father’s bellwether instruction on consecrated life.
Working with a men’s religious community, Vocation Promotion has come up with a plan to do just that. It’s called the Online Vita Consecrata Project. One men’s community has already committed to its funding. However, we need a few more individuals or communities who can share the cost of production. The cost is minimal - less than $200 per month for ten months. Those who supported the project would get a display ad on the sponsorship page, and photos in various places in the quiz itself.
Fr. Hardon’s booklet is 204 questions and breaks down the pope’s document paragraph by paragraph. With the project, a multiple-choice quiz question would be written for each paragraph of Fr. Hardon’s text. As every teacher knows, repetition and questions and answers are the key to learning any subject. At the end of each section, the online quiz-taker would be presented with a score.
Interest in Consecrated Life
Vocation Promotion has discovered an interest in consecrated life through its Come & See Vocation Promotion Program’s online quiz in which respondents are asked to test their call to religious life. Furthermore, about 10% to 15% of respondents are not Catholics, and some of these show a true interest in consecrated life. Among quiz-takers for one women’s community in the U.S., 8.5% of non-Catholics responded by clicking, “I consider myself a faithful daughter of the Church and follow her teachings.”
Furthermore, some religious communities have among their new members many who are converts to the Church. See “Are Non-Catholics a Gold Mine for Vocations?”
Such an online study guide would be available not only to communities of consecrated life, dioceses, parishes and schools, but also to the world at large through search engines.
Will you help bring the message of consecrated life to the Church and the world? Any religious community, diocese or individual who would like to participate in the Online Vita Consecrata Project, please contact Kevin Banet at VocationPromotion.com/contact.