Catholic site aims to engage through beauty, accessibility
Faith website cell phone app. Photo courtesy of Faith.org.uk.
Faith website cell phone app. Photo courtesy of Faith.org.uk.
By Kerri Lenartowick
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.- The U.K.-based Faith movement has just launched a new interactive website aimed at giving Catholics the tools for evangelization in an accessible, attractive format.

“What the Faith movement does well is allow you to see the coherence of the Catholic faith,” said Middlesbrough seminarian Ryan Day, who helped with the development of the site.

“The great value of this new website is that it offers a way to explain, in an every day synthetic way, how the truths of the faith and the Catholic Church fit together,” he told CNA on June 22.

The site contains videos, articles, blog posts, and free pamphlets for download that respond to common 'big questions' such as “Why God?”, “Why Jesus Christ?”, and “Why the Church?”

Day, age 29, noted, “we are an aesthetic generation. People are interested in the packaging of a message as much as they are interested in the content.”

Its creators hope the site will be a user-friendly resource for young Catholics and others looking for deeper answers to questions about their faith.

Thirty-one year-old seminarian Matthew O’Gorman, studying for the priesthood with the diocese of Southwark, said, “given it’s available on your tablet or smartphone, it’s like having a little Saint Paul in your palm. It’s what young people need and it’ll help them realize that Jesus Christ and his Church is what they’re looking for in their hearts.”

“The website will really help when friends ask, 'why do you go to Church on Sunday?' so that you can now give really good reasons,” said 21-year old Vanessa Reith, a student at the University of Edinburgh who also helped shape the site.

“I find Faith is a place I can ask questions and not be frustrated by the answer. There's no fear of the truth and that’s attractive.”

The Faith movement, which holds conferences, symposia, and evenings of reflection, as well as publishing a magazine, was founded in 1972. Its goal is “to offer the Church and the world a new insight into the Catholic faith based upon a synthesis of contemporary science and divine revelation.”  

“Without the Faith Movement I wouldn’t be in seminary. When I was fourteen I needed to be convinced before being converted and that is exactly what Faith does. They give a clear message about how believing in God makes sense: it’s not crazy being Catholic,” O'Gorman remarked.

O'Gorman and Day are only two of the many young men who became involved with the Faith movement at a young age and have since gone on to discernment of a priestly vocation.

Day credits the large numbers of religious vocations to the Faith Movement’s “synthetic, Christ-centered theology.”

“It’s hard to hear about Christ as the answer to the deepest questions of mankind and the source of all our healing and all our joy and our final end, and the Church as the continuation of Christ’s mission on earth and not see the priesthood as absolutely essential in the Christian life,” he explained.

“The vision of the priesthood that comes with that kind of Christ-centered theology really encourages young men like myself to ask seriously that question: am I being called to play my part in the Lord’s work as another Christ for his people?”

Dominic Findlay-Wilson, studying for the priesthood with the diocese of Clifton, said the Faith movement was “instrumental in me discerning my vocation. It seemed to present such a sound and all encompassing vision of my faith.”

Findlay-Wilson began attending the Faith summer sessions almost 20 years ago. He recalled that he was “attracted by the enthusiasm and the joy that the priests had as well as the sound teaching they gave. It seemed to me that they gave concrete answers to many questions I had concerning my faith.”

“In all my years of attending conferences I have never seen a question that hasn’t been answered yet!” he remarked.

The new website aims to offer those answers in a more modern venue.

“The website really gives you a sense of what it is like at the conferences,” explained Day. “You can see young people who are happy, who are engaged with their faith.”

On the site, “you can find a coherent apologetic vision in which the truths of the faith – from why God exists to why there is a Church – come together perfectly, on an everyday level of explanation.”

The site can be found at: faith.org.uk

Tags: Beauty, Evangelization, Faith Movement

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