PFIC Faculty Bring Theology to the Parish
By Br. Norbert Keliher, O.P.
This school year the professors of the PFIC can be found not only in the halls of academia, but in the parish as well. They are bringing the classroom to the parish in a new initiative called Mercy U Lay Theology Institute, hosted by Our Lady of Mercy Parish in Potomac, Maryland.
Through this project, lay people who cannot pursue a full-time degree are able to gain familiarity with essential elements of Catholic theology. By taking six courses, participants can earn a St. Catherine Scholar certificate. Courses can be taken individually, but the achievement of a certificate shows a well-rounded introduction to Catholic theology.
“We are taking what we do in the classroom to a wider audience,” said PFIC President Fr. John Langlois, O.P., who is teaching the inaugural class on Church history. The first course has reached maximum capacity with fifty people signed up, indicating the hunger for what is being offered.
Cardinal Donald Wuerl has lauded the initiative, saying, “If we are to share the faith, we must know the faith… This collaboration brings higher level theology to the parish, so that lay men and women can grow in the knowledge and the love of Jesus in order to call others to know and love Him.” Knowing the faith well can be daunting once someone ventures beyond the basics, but this new initiative provides sure guides to help show the way. In their turn, participants will be better equipped to hand on the faith to their friends and family.
Mercy U continues in January with a course on the Church Fathers by Fr. Andrew Hofer, O.P., followed by a spring course on Catholic Morality with Fr. Thomas Petri, O.P. For information or to register, visit www.mercyu.org.