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Seeking Truth Bible study now free to parishes

Preparing to enter their seventh year of teaching Scripture in a classroom setting that also is available online, Sharon Doran and her husband, Steve, have a new goal for their Seeking Truth ministry: encouraging parish-based Bible study by giving away lessons they have presented through the years.

"The heart of the church is someone’s home parish," Steve said, where priests share the sacraments and people find community. "We want to encourage study of the word of God in parish settings."

Pastors, parish religious education teachers and people who have permission from their parish can go to the website and register for the materials by clicking the tab for "Parish Programming" and following the instructions.

The Dorans, members of St. Margaret Mary Parish in Omaha, will mail free to parishes the computer files of Sharon’s lectures, a written lecture synopsis and the couple’s study questions. People can purchase "Come and See Catholic Bible Study" textbooks the couple use in their class and online lessons.

Four lessons of 23 lectures each have been compiled for immediate use by parishes: "Hebrews, Ezekiel and Revelation," "Moses and the Torah," "The Synoptic Gospels, Matthew, Mark and Luke" and "Acts and Letters."

The Doran’s live, weekly prayer-and-lecture series includes evening sessions at Creighton Preparatory School and afternoon gatherings at Christ the King Parish, both in Omaha.

This year’s sessions will begin Sept. 8, focus on the Gospel of John and run through the first week of March. Those lessons cost $50 in person for the lectures and textbook, and $20 online for the taped lectures, with the $25 book also available online, Sharon said.

And fees from those lessons – as well as generous donations through the years – have made the free, packaged material possible for parishes, the Dorans said.

Last year, the live classes drew more than 450 people each week, Sharon said. Online lectures have been viewed from as far away as Ireland, India, the Philippines, Australia and Brazil, she said.

The Dorans said they want to spread the word of God and raise up disciples for Christ. Both have battled cancer, which drives home the lesson that life can be short, Sharon said.

The Bible provides a blueprint for living, that together with the teachings of the church can guide people to heaven, and the Dorans hope to invite more people to trust and obey God’s word along that path, Sharon said.

"I want to multiply the number of souls" that are saved, she said.

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