Catholic Scripture Study began in 1985 when several Catholic women attending a retreat asked a retreat director, Sister Marie Therese Wright, SSMN, for a program similar to a national ecumenical five-year study called Bible Study Fellowship (BSF) which they and other Catholic men and women were attending. Sister Marie Therese was very interested, so she attended a BSF class. She was amazed when she saw 450 women come together in a structured environment studying God's Word for two hours. This Bible study was written in the 1950s by one Christian woman trained as a missionary and currently has over 1000 groups in 38 countries with 200,000 members from all denominations.
Intrigued by this tremendous growth Sister Marie Therese decided to accept the challenge to write such a program for Catholics. Since her retreat ministry would soon end with the closing of Our Lady of Victory Provinciate, she decided to use this opportunity to write a Catholic Scripture Study Program patterned after BSF using Catholic Doctrine. BSF leaders and members encouraged her. She followed the very effective administrative and organizational structure of BSF, to which she added a doctrinal basis which was totally Catholic. In the spring of 1992, Sister Marie Therese completed writing this group study lesson material for all five years of the Catholic Scripture Study Program.
Being fully aware of the overwhelming task before her, we do not know why she willingly accepted such an exhaustive challenge at this point in her career after having already devoted a lifetime of service to God, the Church and her Order. Perhaps it was the comprehensive knowledge of Holy Scripture that she had acquired over her lifetime of service, combined with her writing skills that gave her the confidence to say ‘yes’.
A more probable reason, however, is that she felt God’s call to fill a compelling need the Church had for a doctrinally correct Catholic Scripture Study that could be easily understood and would be made available to all without regard to cost. She accepted this call and she fulfilled it. God does not expect more of us than we can do, He just empowers us so that we can do more.
What we do know is that she worked night and day for over seven years researching, writing, teaching, lecturing and training others. When this five year course was completed, she did not stop, she continued her work. She created a training/reference manual so that those who followed her would have a manual to guide them, and finally, she established ‘Catholic Scripture Study Inc.’ a 501(C)(3) non profit corporation and appointed its initial Board of Directors. Having completed these additional tasks and in failing health, she retired, leaving the task of overseeing and managing the reproduction and distribution of this program to those around her whom she had selected and to future generations.
Sister Marie Therese passed away on May 11, 2002.
Books of the Bible Covered in the Five Year Cycle of Catholic Scripture Study are:
1st year: Luke and Acts (with cross-references to other synoptic)
2nd year: The Pentateuch – Genesis through Deuteronomy
3rd year: The Gospel and Letters of John
4th year: The Prophets and Revelation
5th year: Wisdom Literature and New Testament Letters
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