Fr Timothy Radcliffe OP, Dr Gemma Simmonds CJ, Fr Stephen Wang, Dr Philomena Cullen, Bishop John Arnold, Suzy Brouard and Professor Gavin D'Costa.Many leading contemporary Catholic theologians and Scripture scholars in the UK, have contributed to Life in Christ, a major new study resource, for use in parishes, colleges and schools, youth and young adult groups launched at Amigo Hall in Southwark on Saturday.
Produced by Southwark Youth Services, Life in Christ consists of three DVDs of short talks by 26 speakers - among them Fr Timothy Radcliffe OP, Dr Gemma Simmonds CJ, Fr Stephen Wang, Dr Philomena Cullen, Bishop John Arnold, Suzy Brouard and Professor Gavin D'Costa.
The series follows YOUCAT, and comes with a teachers guide, with ideas for activities, discussions and prayers. Handouts to go with each session can be downloaded from the SYS website.
"The project was about a year and a half in the making" said Karen North, lecturer in Theology at St Mary's University College and Advisor for Youth Ministry for Southwark Catholic Youth Service. "We started filling with David McLoughlin (senior lecture at Newman University) and initially thought we would just upload the films onto Youtube. But the more we filmed - a bit like the Parable of the Mustard Seed - the more we felt this would be more useful as a DVD resource."
John Toryusen, also from Southwark Youth Services, explained that while there are many other resources out there, most of these are American, whereas this new series is all set in a UK cultural context.
Archbishop Peter Smith welcomed Life in Christ, saying: "I think it is going to be an excellent resource for the diocese and further afield, especially to help young people understand their faith and to be able to explain it to others. This is exactly what Pope Francis has asked us to do - he talks about 'evangelising' not 'proselytising' . It's a task not just for priests and religious - but for everyone - as Pope Paul VI, Paul John Paul II and Pope Benedict have all said. The first way to evangelise is through the witness of our lives - demonstrating the love, mercy and compassion of Jesus - but then we've got explain why we are trying to live like this."
We will be reviewing Life in Christ on ICN soon.