Catholic Scripture Study International
Steve Ray was interviewed on Al Kresta last Friday about Catholic Scripture Study International. CSS’s mission statement is “To bring people closer to Jesus Christ and His Church through in-depth Scripture study.”
According to Steve, CSS is a Catholic Scripture study to rival a popular Protestant Scripture study, but with a strong Catholic focus. Steve is one of the authors of the study books used by CSS, Scott Hahn and Mark Shea are authors of some of the others. The books of the Bible that are currently available for extended group study are the Book of Romans, Genesis, the Acts of the Apostles, the Book of Exodus, the Gospel of Matthew, the Gospel of John and the Book of Revelation. Each of these programs is designed to be a 25-28 week class. So, as the mission statement says, you will get in-depth knowledge of the book your group chooses to study. Each chapter will be studied thoroughly.You will learn what the Scripture authors really meant in the sometimes cryptic ancient language. You will learn what the early Church Fathers had to say about the Bible. And especially you will learn what the Bible really means, not what you think it means.
The intent is to offer a study program for each book of the Bible. Steve is working to finish up his next book this week on First and Second Corinthians. It will be available for study this fall. The remaining will be offered as the authors complete the books they have selected.
CSS also offers short studies on This Sacred Council: Exploring the Documents of the Second Vatican Council, Paul’s Letter to the Ephesians, Will Catholics be ‘Left Behind’?, Jesus’ Passion: The Story of Redemptive Suffering, Amos, Humanae Vitae, and Preparing for Christ Advent Year C.
Gail Buckley, the Founder and President of CSS, also joined in on the interview. Gail is also a Catholic convert. She was very concerned that Catholics were attending the Protestant Bible studies and were being drawn away from the Church. So she created a Catholic Bible Study, namely CSS, that offers the fellowship of the Protestant Bible studies and the fullness of Truth of the Catholic Church. CSS will be publishing a study Bible this summer using the RSV-CE that can be used in conjunction with the program. It will be published by St. Benedict Press, which recently took over Tan Publishing.
These study programs can be run in a parish or group setting. Anyone can run these programs; CSS provides lecture DVDs and books and study material. An outline of their program can be found here. The costs to start a program for the study leader is $299.99, each student is $39.99.
The Church has always encouraged Bible study. Pope Leo XIII wrote an encyclical in 1893, Providentissimus Deus, On the Study of Holy Scripture, and there are many other Church documents promoting Sacred Scripture study. As Catholics we must study Scripture often. It brings us closer to Jesus.