Fr. Barron’s Catholicism, Evangelizing Through the Force of Truth

Something very exciting is coming in a few weeks.

Fr. Robert Barron will release his Catholicism series.

This will be a powerful tool for evangelization.

Even more so because I just saw on Catholic News Agency (CNA) that the series will air on PBS this fall.

Here’s why I think it’s so important and how I’m going to use it.

Catholicism understood through history and location

I’ve seen a few episodes of the series. The production quality is amazing. The scenery, filmed in high-definition, is breathtaking.

Fr. Barron traveled to 50 locations in 16 countries in order to tell the story of the Catholic Church.

He not only gives the history of the Church, he goes to the places where it happened.

It’s like the locations become characters in the documentary.

A richer, broader, fascinating story

CNA reports:

Fr. Barron said that the series comes at time when the U.S. is going through what he believes to be “the darkest period in the history of the American Catholic Church,” and that the “wrong” people are telling the story of what the Church actually is.

He pointed to the secular media’s depiction of the Church “as the place where the sex abuse scandal happened,” a narrative that he finds “so tiresome and counterproductive.”

“I think Catholics from the inside have to tell a much richer, broader, fascinating story,” Fr. Barron said, stressing the importance of not allowing the Church to be “reduced to the sex abuse scandal.”

That’s the key!

Fr. Barron is defining the Church on her own terms, from the inside. He’s telling the Church’s story, the way it actually is, making her truthful voice louder than the naysayers and critics.

Evangelization through the force of truth

Fr. Barron is doing exactly what Blessed John XXIII and Vatican II called for–a renewal of the way the Church presents itself to the world.

The mandate was aggiornamento, or “bringing up to date.” To the rest of the world, the Church seemed rigid, petrified, a fossil of a bygone era. Imprisoned behind it’s walls of dogmatic authority, Catholicism had nothing to say to modern man.

John XXIII wanted to burst the bonds of this image! The Church would not convert through force of anathema, but compel through force of the truth!

The Church was the key to the rescue of modern man. And, through new and contemporary presentations of the Faith, the modern world would be compelled to listen.

This is what Fr. Barron is doing in the Catholicism series.

Catechetical takeaway

This series will be an excellent tool for evangelization.

Obviously, it will be great for parish adult education and study groups. There are study materials developed for it already.

I could also see it used in high school and upper grade elementary schools for religious education.

I think the best idea I’ve heard so far was using it for an ongoing “come and see” class. Every week, you hold a session where you invite people interested in learning more about the Church. You can use the episode of Catholicism as a starter for discussion.

Each episode stands alone so it doesn’t matter if they see the whole thing. They can pop in at any time, watch, discuss and come back again next week…or not. It takes the worry out of being “interesting,” although that would help! However, with such a great resource, how could you go wrong?

I’m praying every parish will buy a copy of the DVDs, start showing them, and begin inviting people to see the beauty, richness, culture, and majesty of Catholicism.

How would you use the Catholicism series for evangelization? Tell me in the comments! 


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  1. I am very excited about this and am going to offer it to our parents in our traditional Religious Ed. Program. I think it is going to be a great resource for all parishes and as you said, “a powerful tool for evangelization”.

    • Marc Cardaronella says:

      That’s a really good idea William. Maybe you could show it to the parents while Religious Ed classes are going on.


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