St. Augustine Church is taking a step toward the modern world by providing parishioners access to the unofficial Catholic Netflix.
This “Catholic Netflix” is actually a website called formed.org, where members and guests of St. Augustine Church can enjoy free access to Symbolon, an online program that explains the Catechism of the Catholic Church in videos.
Vincent Herzog, coordinator of the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults (RCIA) and Adult Confirmation Preparation Program, said Symbolon is a well-produced program that presents information in an objective manner.
Parishioners in RCIA or Adult Confirmation Preparation classes can use Symbolon to supplement their learning experience.
Isabella Trujillo, a UF marketing major, said Symbolon has helped her spiritually.
“Symbolon has taught me how to pray more peacefully and get closer to God,” Trujillo said.
|Isabella Trujillo, 19, watches Symbolon in the Marston Science Library to prepare for the Adult Confirmation Preparation Program. Trujillo said Symbolon is entertaining because it appeals to both visual and auditory learners. Photo by Paulina Rios|
Symbolon is divided into two categories. Part one is called “Knowing the Faith,” and it explores the creed.
“Imagine the creed like a drop-down menu on a website and each episode clicks on the line of the creed and expands it,” Herzog said.
Part two is called “Living the Faith,” and it is an exploration of how Catholics live.
“It is the sacramental life, life of service in the home and service in the community,” Vincent said.
Symbolon also provides a participant guide, which includes prayers, discussions, reflection questions, and links to related content.
Caitlin Moriarty, a UF biology major, said Symbolon serves as a good review for content she learned in high school.
“It’s always good to have the opportunity to brush up on Catholic teachings,” Moriarty said.
Herzog said Symbolon is dynamic and helpful for participants who find it difficult to keep up with the readings of the Catechism.
“One of the great things about audio and visual media is that it draws in the imagination, which is a very important faculty for learning,” Herzog said.
Symbolon features well-known teachers such as Jim Beckman, Tim Gray, and Edward Sri, who present the information in many different ways every few minutes.
Herzog said one moment you might be listening to a person giving a presentation with visuals in the background, and the next moment you are listening to a conversation between two people.
Herzog said Symbolon allows people to see and hear the beauty of the Church.
“It’s exciting how creative people can get in evangelizing and spreading the Gospel,” Herzog said.
St. Augustine Church has access to Symbolon for one year, and it can choose to renew the program once the year is over.
“We’d like to renew the program, but it depends on how willing the community is to support it,” Vincent said.