Catholics in Houston, Texas, following the lead of Cardinal Daniel DiNardo, have begun a city-wide Bible listening campaign.
More than 50 Catholic parishes are participating in the campaign, called “You’ve Got The Time Houston.” Leaders from more than 100 non-Catholic churches in have joined the program to listen to the entire New Testament.
The initiative is being coordinated by the group Faith Comes By Hearing, an “audio Bible” ministry.
Roger Hunter, coordinator of You've Got The Time Houston, said that Faith Comes By Hearing provides free audio Bibles for every parishioner in participating parishes. Church leaders challenge parishioners to listen through the entire New Testament, 28 minutes a day over 40 days.
Churches then collect offerings to support recording the New Testament in the native languages of poor and illiterate people around the world.
“There has been a tremendous, immediate response from the Catholic community in the Houston area,” said Morgan Jackson, international director for Faith Comes By Hearing.
He said that the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston has planned an “extensive” Bible engagement effort for 2009 called “The Word of God in the Life and Mission of the Church.”
“Faith Comes By Hearing's 40-day Bible listening is a big component of their outreach," Jackson said in a press release. Jackson also praised Cardinal DiNardo’s involvement with the effort, saying, “His active encouragement of this program is giving many Catholics new opportunities to study the sacred Scriptures, deepen their faith and increase their knowledge of God's Word.”
Jackson said he expected that more than one-third of all 3,000 Houston-area churches will participate in the Bible engagement outreach.
"If we can reach America with God's Word we can reach the world together," Jackson said.