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Viewing Catholicism Around the Globe

Courtney Cox | Wednesday, November 9, 2011


Fr. Robert Barron, respected theologian, speaker and creator of Word on Fire, is visiting Notre Dame today to screen selected scenes from his 10-part documentary “The Catholicism Project.”

He is the Francis Cardinal George Professor of Faith and Culture at Mundelein Seminary outside of Chicago. His non-profit organization Word on Fire uses various forms of media to spread the Catholic faith. 

His YouTube channel is a widely viewed source for Catholic interpretations of pop-culture including films like “No Country for Old Men,” “The Ides of March” and “The Departed.”

His new documentary series takes audiences through Catholicism across the globe in a vivid and eye-catching fashion. Fr. Barron and his crew visited various holy spaces for Catholics from Philadelphia to India and were able to tell the story of Catholicism in an engaging and beautiful way. 

The screening for the film is being hosted by the College of Engineering and the College of Science, said Professor Peter Kilpatrick, the McCloskey Dean of Engineering.

“I was familiar with the Catholicism Project, as I had seen the trailer videos,” he said. “I believed that Fr. Barron had done something singular here in terms of presenting the beauty, unity and logic for the Catholic faith.”

The trailer Kilpatrick speaks of is indeed a sweeping advertisement encapsulating some of the Church’s most beautiful spaces and speaking to the unique history of Catholicism.

In it Fr. Barron said, “The Catholic story is being told but being told by the wrong people in the wrong way.”

His documentary series is a response to this. 

“We need to tell our own story, we need to get the message out, so as to draw people in,” Fr. Barron said in the trailer. 

Kilpatrick also explained why this event is a good fit for the Engineering College.

 “I think it relates to Engineering because he has taken a very ratio-like approach to explicating the Faith,” he says, “something that we are called to by St Peter who said, ‘Always be ready to give a reason for the faith that is within you.’ Engineering is very much based on reason.

“I also have a strong personal interest in the role of beauty in discovery in science. So I thought this was a good project and a good speaker to expose the Colleges of Science and Engineering to.”

The project is meant to highlight the Catholic heritage and draw new believers into the faith. 

“I hope that the students will get a strong sense of the compelling rationale for both the priority of Christ and of Catholicism,” Kilpatrick said. “I hope they will be captivated by the beauty of the faith and so much of what surrounds it.”

Throughout the screening Fr. Barron will be present to speak to students about the role of evangelization in the Catholic faith as well as introducing the series.