A 'Course' of Action
Looking for a way to go right to the heart of the Catholic faith during Lent?
Why not get started on a new online/DVD course titled Divine Mercy Essentials, which covers every major theological, pastoral, and liturgical aspect of the Divine Mercy message and devotion. The John Paul II Institute of Divine Mercy launched the online course last fall, giving participants the option of either simply purchasing the presentations or taking the course for certification and possibly academic credit.
"Working on this course has been like being totally immersed in God, with all of my longtime favorite aspects of relating to Him being amplified, emphasized, expanded, and filling me to overflowing," says Roberta Lambert of Abilene, Texas. "I cannot thank you enough for making this course available to regular people, even those who have not taken a class in 35 years. I commend whoever devised this plan to … further promote the spectacular, prophetic revelation of Divine Mercy."
An apostolate of the Marian Fathers, the Institute has provided instruction in Divine Mercy theology and spirituality for clergy, religious, and lay leaders in the Divine Mercy movement since its founding in 1996 by Fr. Seraphim Michalenko, MIC, and Fr. George Kosicki, CSB.
"Over the years, many people have expressed a desire for more in-depth, guided study of the message and devotion to the Divine Mercy and the life and witness of St. Faustina," said Dr. Robert Stackpole, director of the Institute. "The first ever online course on Divine Mercy is our response to that call, designed to enable both individuals and parish groups to become more effective disciples of Christ's merciful love."
Widely recognized as an expert on Divine Mercy, Dr. Stackpole has spoken at numerous conferences and taught university courses on the subject. He also writes the column "Divine Mercy Q & A" at thedivinemercy.org, and has authored several books on Divine Mercy.
Some of the classes for the online course focus on the struggles that people face in living the mercy message. Most of the classes are taught by Dr. Stackpole. There are also presentations by popular author and speaker Fr. Donald Calloway, MIC, on the Blessed Virgin Mary and Divine Mercy, and Fr. Seraphim, world-renowned expert on Divine Mercy and the life of St. Faustina, on the importance of the mercy message for our time.
You can purchase the presentations for viewing online or as a DVD set. Study-and-discussion questions and a group leader's guide are available online to assist parishes, Eucharistic Apostles of The Divine Mercy Cenacles, and other groups in using Divine Mercy Essentials.
If you wish to receive a Certificate of Completion from the Institute, you must register, pay a small course fee, take two exams, and write a final essay. The Institute is seeking to collaborate with several faith-based universities so that participants may earn academic credit. Those taking the course for a certificate or possibly university credit will be able to e-mail Dr. Stackpole with questions or comments and receive feedback.
For more information, to purchase the course, or to register for certification, go to onlinecourse.marian.org.
Check out Dr. Stackpole's Divine Mercy Essentials video trailer: