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58 of 61 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fine companion for the Year of Faith
Pope Benedict has called for a "Year of Faith" to begin in October 2012. He has done so because he has recognized the "profound crisis of faith that has affected many people" (Porta Fidei, n. 2). Eroding the faith today are tendencies toward rationalism (science must prove belief), atheism (denying God and denouncing the Church), and compartmentalizing God (isolating...
Published on September 27, 2012 by Richard J. Grebenc

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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Seems in a hurry to get this to press
I REALLY hate posting this but we are called to speak the truth in love: this is not a great study. I have great respect for Father Pacwa and I am not sure what happen with this book but this is not his finest hour.

It has several great points and ideas but they are all thrown together in a salad format. The sections within each study do not flow well together...
Published 21 months ago by Gil Michelini


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58 of 61 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fine companion for the Year of Faith, September 27, 2012
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This review is from: The Year of Faith: A Bible Study Guide for Catholics (Paperback)
Pope Benedict has called for a "Year of Faith" to begin in October 2012. He has done so because he has recognized the "profound crisis of faith that has affected many people" (Porta Fidei, n. 2). Eroding the faith today are tendencies toward rationalism (science must prove belief), atheism (denying God and denouncing the Church), and compartmentalizing God (isolating Him from social life, morality, and regular use of personal time). The pope is calling all Christians to strengthen their belief and follow Christ more closely.

Fr. Mitch Pacwa's The Year of Faith: A Bible Study Guide for Catholics is an excellent way to honor the pope's call and counter the attacks on faith. By highlighting key points in the pope's apostolic letter Porta Fidei ("Door of Faith" - see Acts 14:27), which called for this Year of Faith, Fr. Mitch takes the student on a journey through the Bible and the liturgy that will reawaken, renew, or refresh one's faith.

The Year of Faith celebrates the fiftieth anniversary of the opening of the Second Vatican Council, the twentieth anniversary of the publication of the Catechism of the Catholic Church, and the Synod on the New Evangelization happening the month the Year of Faith begins. Fr. Mitch, echoing the pope, begins by calling Catholics to read the documents of Vatican II and the Catechism. With an entire year devoted to strengthening one's faith, this is a wonderful opportunity to take time on a regular basis to work through these documents so important to the Faith.

The Bible study itself consists of six sessions each of which are broken up into sections. "Consider" and "Study" provide historical background on, doctrinal considerations of, and insight into the week's theme. "Investigate" segments give many opportunities throughout to look deeper into session themes in Scripture with encouragement to ponder these passages and often to answer questions about them ("The Creed and Scripture" exposition, in which Scripture quotes underlying each statement of the Nicene Creed, is, itself, worth the price of the book). Each session closes with "Discuss" and "Practice" assignments: the former has three questions that encourage reflection on the material studied and allow for sharing insights gained; the latter encourages use of the time until the next session to ponder further the week's theme and to apply it in a practical way to one's life.

In addition, the text is happily interrupted by boxes designated as "Information," which go more in-depth on topics like the early Church councils, the Samaritans, the parts of the Mass, and the liturgical calendar, and "Stop and Read" which provide plentiful opportunities to turn to Scripture and ponder it.

Whether working through the text alone or with a group, appropriate time must be taken to do this study slowly and reflectively. To get the most out of it, the reader must work carefully through the text (which is helpfully broken up into short sections), read and contemplate all Scripture texts referenced, and thoughtfully consider and answer all questions.

With study group tips at the beginning of the book and writing that is very accessible and engaging, there is no reason why involved Catholics should not encourage their pastors to allow them to do this six week Bible study in their parishes or, at least, conduct them in their own homes.
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37 of 39 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Take a good long look at the Amazon Sneak Peek if you have any doubts., October 12, 2012
This review is from: The Year of Faith: A Bible Study Guide for Catholics (Paperback)
Faith is so hard for some of us. The time necessary to learn The Faith with deeper meaning and to make it a living faith is hard for me. I read the Bible and by Grace I am guided, but still the task is daunting. But now there is Father Pacwa's Book, and all of the sudden, I have a map to follow so I don't get lost and off track or misguided or confused as to if I am doing things right. And then I have the words of our Holy Father, Pope Benedict, that Father Pacwa has made a central theme in this book and the Popes intentions for the year and the future of our Faith, so I am with the Pope too in this study! Praise God. And finally I am reading and studying with the entire Catholic Church for this year in a way that has not been done before. We are together more intensely now, in a more meaningful way. Leave it to Father Pacwa to make something so important and so daunting so absolutely comprehensible to the Lay Faithful. I look forward to praying with the Pope and all of you this year, Father Pacwa's book has made this possible.

And now the most important part of my review is this: Look at the Amazon Sneak Peek and search the book if you have any doubts. It will show you more than I can say, so you don't have to take my word for anything. There you will find the Holy Father and the Table of Contents and all that you need to know. And if you have any questions that I might be able to answer, just leave a comment and I'll respond.

May The Peace Of Christ Be With You+
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21 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Father Mitch, October 7, 2012
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An excellent in-depth presentation of the articles of the Catholic Creed for the Year of Faith proclaimed by Benedict 16; meant to be read thoughtfully and slowly throughout the Year. I found it profoundly helpful so far and will continue meditating on it.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Bible Study for the Year of Faith, November 14, 2012
This review is from: The Year of Faith: A Bible Study Guide for Catholics (Paperback)
Fr. Pacwa is one of the priests on EWTN who hosts two shows, Threshold of Hope and EWTN Live. He has also written several books and Bible studies, in the same fashion as this book. One of these was a Bible Study on Paul for the Year of Paul, which I personally found very enlightening.

In this short book (less than 100 pages), Fr. Pacwa walks us through Pope Benedict's document Porta Fidei, which established and serves as a guideline for the Year of Faith. There are six sessions in this Bible Study, which you can study solo or in a small group. Each session is 10-15 pages long, so you can take each session and do one a week, or if you read quickly like me, do one a week, and be done in less than a week.

The questions Fr. Pacwa asks at the end of each session provide good discussion, if you read this study in a group, or reflection, if read by yourself. I also liked that he took the Nicene Creed and listed the Scriptural references that backed up each line of the Creed. However, I found "Session 6 - Faith and the New Evangelization" the most helpful session. It helped wrap this book up nicely, while also putting into perspective that we are not only supposed to be building our faith but the faith of others. I have never been good at that, even when I was Baptist, which has always bugged me, because Protestants are usually good at that kind of thing.

This book is an invaluable tool and resource, not just for the Year of Faith, but for anytime. It is a practical study guide that I am glad to have received, and I'm sure it is one I will reference during the Year of Faith. That is why I give this book 5 out of 5 stars, and recommend it to you all. Check out my other reviews at stuartsstudy(dot)blogspot(dot)com
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Seems in a hurry to get this to press, March 2, 2013
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This review is from: The Year of Faith: A Bible Study Guide for Catholics (Paperback)
I REALLY hate posting this but we are called to speak the truth in love: this is not a great study. I have great respect for Father Pacwa and I am not sure what happen with this book but this is not his finest hour.

It has several great points and ideas but they are all thrown together in a salad format. The sections within each study do not flow well together. The questions are not as deep as I would expect from a great teaching Jesuit.

The study seems that it was rushed to get to press to ensure it would be available for The Year of Faith and the editor did not or was not able to complete their job.

Unless you know little of the Bible or the teachings of the Church, I would not recommend this study. And again, I make this recommendation with a heavy heart because I was looking forward to his insight.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars good book, October 1, 2012
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This review is from: The Year of Faith: A Bible Study Guide for Catholics (Paperback)
A very good Bible study help. Makes you really dig into what we, as Catholics believe and why. And it brings to the forefront what we should be working toward in this Year of Faith.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Year of Faith, December 4, 2012
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This review is from: The Year of Faith: A Bible Study Guide for Catholics (Paperback)
Our Bible Study is reading and discussing this book. Even though the book itself is not big, reading of the Scriptures entails much time.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Less than I expect from Fr. Pacwa, February 11, 2013
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This review is from: The Year of Faith: A Bible Study Guide for Catholics (Paperback)
Perhaps Fr. Pacwa was too hurried to meet a publication deadline, or perhaps, I expect much too much from him.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Good resource, November 11, 2012
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This review is from: The Year of Faith: A Bible Study Guide for Catholics (Paperback)
Fr Mitch Pacwa has developed an easy to use tool for small faith sharing groups. It is especially useful for catholics not well acquainted with the Bible. I recommend it to catholics wanting to focus their small faith group activities on the Year of Faith.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars From a convert, November 9, 2013
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As a convert who has done many Protestant Bible studies, I found it hard to encourage my Catholic friends to do one. I know they feel intimidated and fearful of not knowing the scriptures as well as they would like. We are doing this study now and a couple of the women who decided to "try" a study are finding it exciting! They never knew how Biblical the creed was put together. One even wants to share these with her CCD students! I know there is a real need for that, as many do not know how Biblical the Catholic faith is-unfortunately. Even though I prefer a more in depth Catholic study, and have done several, some on my own, I think this is exactly what we needed at this time to encourage women to get involved in Bible studies. Fr. Pacwa is a brilliant teacher of the scriptures and I love listening to his homilies on EWTN and I learn so much from him.
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The Year of Faith: A Bible Study Guide for Catholics
The Year of Faith: A Bible Study Guide for Catholics by Mitch Pacwa (Paperback - August 15, 2012)
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