Sarah Dustman
Freelance Writer
August 4, 2019 // Diocese

St. Elizabeth summer reading group digs into Jewish roots

Sarah Dustman
Freelance Writer

Summertime slows down the adult formation activities at St. Elizabeth Ann Seton, Fort Wayne; however, parishioners have found faith formation and community in the parish’s summer reading group.

Carole Yaney, director of formation and of preparation for the Rite of Christian Initiation, explained that this summer’s participants read Brant Pitre’s “Jesus and the Jewish Roots of Mary.” However, this was not the group’s first encounter with Pitre’s writing.

During the summer of 2018 the group read “Jesus and the Jewish Roots of the Eucharist.” Yaney said that the participants were “amazed and captivated” by connections made between the Jewish religion and Old Testament with the New Testament, in regard to the Eucharist. She added that discussions in the 2018 reading group were vibrant, and that their love for the Eucharist grew through learning about these connections.

That richness made choosing another one of Pitre’s books a no-brainer, Yaney said.

Members of the St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Parish summer reading group, along with Deacon Daniel Koehl, read from “Jesus and the Jewish Roots of Mary” by Brant Pitre. Although many parish programs end in the spring and begin again in the fall, spiritual enrichment and development also are available during the summer through reading groups like St. Elizabeth’s. — Provided by Carole Yaney

Members of this summer’s reading group met in the parish library on Tuesdays for four consecutive weeks during June and July. During each session, they would have an informal discussion of two chapters of “Jesus and the Jewish Roots of Mary.”

A morning and an evening session were offered. The morning sessions mostly were composed of retired men and women, while the evening sessions were composed of a wider age range. In addition to parishioners, Father Louis Fowoyo attended the morning sessions and Deacon Daniel Koehl attended the evening sessions.

“Their additional theological knowledge of Mary and personal experiences enriched our conversation,” Yaney said.

While this summer’s reading group has ended, plans are being made for next summer. Since the reading groups have benefitted spiritually from Pitre’s writing, some of his other books will be reviewed to determine if they will be a good fit for next summer.

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