Pray as 10,000 Catholics Increase Their Bible Reading

Pope Francis says, “The Bible contains the Word of God, the most effective tool in fighting evil and keeping us close to God.”

Here’s some good news:  A study commissioned by American Bible Society shows that more than 80% of practicing Catholics hear or read the Bible once per week. In the Bible, they are encountering the God of mercy, healing, and mission.

And more and more Catholics are reading and studying Scriptures outside of Mass. There are 70 million Catholics in the United States, and 20% are fully Bible engaged, which means they read the Bible at least 4 times a week and believe that its words are true and accurate.

Still, Catholic leaders like Mary Elizabeth Sperry, Associate Director for the United States Catholic Conference of U.S. Bishops (USCCB), recognize room for growth in encouraging churchgoers to actively engage in God’s Word for themselves.

“The Church encourages Catholics to make reading the Bible part of their daily prayer lives,” says Sperry. “Reading these inspired words, people grow deeper in their relationship with God.”

10,000 Catholics Actively Reading Scripture by 2019

Together, American Bible Society and USCCB have set a goal that requires serious prayer: to see 10,000 Catholics actively engaged in—and more knowledgeable about—Scripture by 2019.

To help Catholics dig into God’s Word, American Bible Society and USCCB are producing a 3-part video series called “Overview of the Bible.” It will give Catholic adults a basic overview of the Bible and helps them establish a daily Scripture reading plan. (Learn more about Lectio Divina, a practice of Scripture reading and prayer that helps us connect with God and increase our knowledge of God’s Word.) The videos will be accompanied by a leader’s guide that includes Scripture engagement exercises.

These resources will be available for the 2018 season of Lent. “Overview of the Bible” will be launched in parishes in Phoenix, Arizona; Newark, New Jersey; Dallas, Texas and Brooklyn, New York. They will then be shared with Catholics across the U.S. through the USCCB website.

Let’s Pray Together

God, we thank you that a growing number of Catholic leaders are encouraging churchgoers to engage daily with the life-giving message of your Word. We pray the “Overview of the Bible” videos will ignite curiosity about the Bible and a hunger to study it. And we pray that as people read the Bible, they will realize the immeasurable love God has for them.

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Nena Podbury
Nena Podbury

Nena Podbury is a Prayer Mobilization Associate at American Bible Society. Originally from the Bronx, she served in children’s ministry for 12 years doing Sidewalk Sunday School. Nena is married with two children, Noah and Emilia.

Thanks to the support of our faithful financial partners, American Bible Society has been engaging people with the life-changing message of God’s Word for more than 200 years.

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