The rise of the “nones” has been particularly hard on Catholic parishes in the US, which are struggling to keep the younger generations in the pews. It is estimated that 79% of Catholics raised in the Church will leave the Catholic faith by their college years. Now, in an effort to engage young people in their faith, Word On Fire Catholic Ministries has launched a campaign that seeks to put the Holy Bible in the hands of college students across the country.
For the last few years, Word On Fire Catholic Ministries has been producing what will become a seven-volume set of the Bible. Notable for its beautiful illuminations, potent Catholic essays, and high quality materials, this is a premier bible for Catholics to deepen their understanding of the faith. It comes in hardcover, leatherbound, and paperback editions, with the paperbacks being offered in the campaign.
While students in any year of their education will benefit from this donation, it is especially focused on freshmen, many of whom are taking responsibility for their own faith for the first time. This Bible is a good choice for such an audience, as it is designed to draw in first-time readers with an approachable paragraph-style format. A press release describe the offerings:
“The volumes include commentary from Bishop Barron, saints, and scholars alongside the text of Holy Scripture; full-color reproductions of classical religious art with explanatory essays; and word studies to unlock the original meaning of key scriptural terms.”
Word On Fire set the goal at donating 10,000 Bibles, but its outreach has already seen the goal surpassed with over 12,500. So far, students from 89 colleges and universities in the US will be receiving The Gospels, as Word On Fire has raised around $115,000 for the project, with each Bible costing $20.
Bishop Robert Barron, founder of Word on Fire and bishop of the Diocese of Winona-Rochester, said of the campaign:
“This initiative will put the timeless Word of God in the hands of college students at a crucial point in their faith journey. These Bibles could truly change their lives by restoring or enhancing their relationship with Jesus Christ.”
This campaign is set to run through August, leaving enough time to get the Bibles in the hands of students starting their fall semesters. Parties interested in supporting the campaign can find more information at the Word On Fire website. For every $20 donation, one copy of The Gospels will be donated to a participating college campus ministry, with an option for employers to match donations to boot.