Taking a lead from Rome, NY Archdiocese to offer conference Saturday on the Bible

On Saturday, the Archdiocese of New York will present an all-day catechetical conference at the Westchester County Center in White Plains.

A few thousand people are expected to come from across the 10 counties of the archdiocese.

I have an advance in today’s LoHud/Journal News.

You can get all the info and see a schedule of events here.

newlogo-yellow-copy.gifThe theme will be “The Word of God in the Life and Mission of the Church.” If that sounds familiar, it is the same theme that Pope Benedict XVI has set for the upcoming Synod of Bishops at the Vatican (Oct. 5-26).

Sister Joan Curtin, director of the archdiocese’s Catechetical Office, which is putting on the conference, told me: “Once that synod occurs in Rome, the word will go out around the world, to the universal church. We wanted to be on the cutting edge here in New York.”

The Catechetical Office has long offered teach-ins for educators. But last year, to celebrate the bicentennial of the archdiocese, the office decided to have a broader convocation that could provide spiritual education and sustenance to Catholics from all walks of life.

They’re sticking with that approach this year. Attendees can take part in a number of workshops about the Bible from a Catholic point of view. There will also be programs aimed at those who do teach children in the faith.

If you want to know the Vatican’s rationale for promoting the study of Scripture, go the Vatican website here. The document you will find there includes this:

The purpose of this Synod is primarily pastoral, namely, spreading and strengthening encounters with the Word of God by thoroughly examining its doctrinal underpinnings and allowing them to show the manner in which this is to be done. This will lead to experiencing the Word of God as the source of life in everyday circumstances and devising true and readily available ways in which Christians and all people of good will can listen to God and speak with him.

In a concrete sense, the Synod intends among its many objectives: to help clarify the basic truths of Revelation as the Word of God, Divine Tradition, the Bible and the Magisterium, which prompt and guarantee an authentic and effective living of the faith; to spark an appreciation and deep love of Sacred Scripture so that “the faithful might have easy access” to it; to renew listening to the Word of God, in the liturgy and catechesis, specifically through lectio divina, duly adapted to various circumstances; and to offer a Word of consolation and hope to the poor of the world.

This Synod desires to give the Word of God as bread to the People of God. Its aim is to foster a proper approach to biblical hermeneutics and to correctly direct the process of evangelization and inculturation. It also intends to encourage ecumenical dialogue, which is closely linked to listening to the Word of God and to promote an encounter and dialogue of not only Christians and Jews9 but also those engaged in interreligious and inter-cultural dialogue. The synod proposes to achieve this task by treating the following three areas: