Early Church Fathers Study

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Thank you to our wonderful presenter!

Always be ready to give an explanation to anyone who asks you for a reason for your hope.

~1 Peter 3:5

Why join the study?

Our lives have changed dramatically in the last six months in ways we couldn’t conceive of just a year ago. Our spiritual lives were jolted by a sudden and heartbreaking interruption -the closing of churches, watching Masses from our homes and connecting with our spiritual family only from a distance. We were thrust into a world of isolation and reflection which lingers even as our towns tentatively reawaken. What have we done during this time to keep our faith alive and focused on Christ? What can we do when the future seems so uncertain?  

Christ longs to work through us, to nourish us, to strengthen us now just as much as before. Our world needs evangelization now more than ever, to know ‘The Good News’ and to have something to hope for. Let us, then, prepare to be those evangelists and use this time to ready ourselves so that we can “give an explanation to anyone who asks you for a reason for your hope.” (1 Peter 3:15) Now is the time to dive deep, seize the chance for silence, reflect and boldly search for understanding.  

To embrace this time and support you in this challenge, we invite you to a series of faith formation classes on the early Church Fathers.  They were the first generations to live after the Apostles, who realized the mission of Christ needed to endure through unknown ages. These earliest Christians lived and worked in an era filled with uncertainty and discord all the while forming the Church that we know today. Our hope is to provide some window into this world in order to know our faith better. Studying the early days of our faith can help build a framework for reading and understanding scripture, a foundation for understanding Church doctrine and how it formed and provide a reference point for your own personal studies.  

Our spiritual ancestors wrestled with darkness and chaos before and the Church emerged stronger for it.  Join us as we explore their journey and, perhaps, find that we recognize our own. It is our hope that this time together will open a door to the rich depths of our Church and our faith that many of us have only glimpsed.

Week One

• Why we need to study the Church Fathers
• Who are they?

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Week Two

• Life in the Early Church
• St. Clement of Rome
• St. Ignatius of Antioch
• St. Polycarp of Smyrna

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Week Three

• St. Justin Martyr
• St. Irenaeus of Lyons
• St. Cyprian of Carthage
• St. Clement of Alexandria
• St. Helena

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Week Four

• Desert Fathers
• St. Ambrose
• St. Athanasius
• St. Agnes of Rome

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Week Five

• St. Gregory of Nazianzus
• St. Basil the Great
• St. Gregory of Nyssa
• St. Macrina

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Week Six

• St. Jerome
• St. Augustine
• St. John Chrysostom
• St. Monica
• St. Marcella

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Week Seven

• St. Leo the Great
• St. Peter Chrysologus
• St. Vincent of Lerins
• St. Cyril of Alexandria
• St. Olympias

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Week Eight

• St. Benedict of Nursia
• St. Gregory the Great
• St. John Damascus
• Wrap up

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