The good news of Christ should reach everyone, especially young people. Jesus himself took time to talk to young people, and Christians have a role in helping Him to continue to speak to young people today. Saint Marys Press is helping to make this happen with their Catholic Youth Bible. Youth-oriented language and articles make the Catholic Youth Bible attractive to teens, and that helps to make the message of Christ attractive to teens.
The Bible is back in vogue among Catholic youth. Its still your Fathers good book; its just been jazzed up a little.
The Catholic Youth Bible from Saint Marys Press is drawing rave reviews and scoring hundreds of thousands of fans. Just ask Amazon.com. By the end of May, the biggest book e-seller in the world ranked The Catholic Youth Bible second in sales among religious books for youthand Amazon boasts five million volumes.
Saint Marys Press of Winona, Minnesota, published the Bible in February and announced it will have more than 200,000 copies in print by the end of the summer. It will also have a line of products to accompany the Bible. Founded in 1943, Saint Marys Press is a nonprofit, Catholic publisher administered by the Christian Brothers of the Midwest Province.
More than 700 copies of the new Bible were needed for The John Carroll School, a Catholic high school near Baltimore, Maryland.
Robert J. McCarty, executive director of the National Federation for Catholic Youth Ministry Inc. in Washington, D.C., said Carroll officials were so impressed with the new Bible that theyre buying copies for each student at the school. The Catholic Youth Bible was a major topic of a mid-July discussion between McCarty and youth ministers from the Archdiocese of Baltimore.
They like the commentaries, the background, the stories, McCarty said. Im not sure of the Bibles people were using previously, but the format of this one is very youth-friendly.
The publisher ensured the book would be appealing to the young population, he added. But it doesnt water down the Word. Theres no change in theology.
But there is attention to how its presented. Focus groups of teens related that they found the Bible overwhelming and intimidating, according to the publisher. So The Catholic Youth Bible has more than 650 articles aimed at the concerns of the younger generation. With a motto of Pray it! Study it! Live it! the Bible is an easily navigable guide to faith.
Over 1,576 pages, The Catholic Youth Bible boasts insightful features on biblical roots of many Catholic beliefs and practices; multicultural symbols, prayers, and poetry related to the Bible; articles applying Bible messages to contemporary situations; reading plans, indexes, maps and timelines.
The Baltimore youth ministers told McCarty that The Catholic Youth Bible works because kids like it. It adds context to Scripture. And it gives the youth a sense of ownership of the Word and a keener awareness of their own Catholicism.
I think Catholic kids have seen the reawakening, re-appreciation of the importance of scripture thats going on now, McCarty said. Young people are attracted to that.
Reviews of the Bible posted on Amazon.com agree with McCarty.
Engaging articles found throughout the text challenge the reader to life application, wrote Kathleen Hodapp of Louisville, Kentucky. There are articles that help you learn more about Scripture from a contextual approach as well.
Virginia Smith of Billings, Montana, taught Scripture classes to Catholic high school seniors for years. She wrote on Amazons review site that she was delighted, but not surprised, at the quality of The Catholic Youth Bible. Its young readers will find in their hands an incomparable tool which will not only assist them in growing in their understanding of and relationship to God, but will teach them so much of what they need in order to live as responsible Catholic Christians in an increasingly complex world.
The Catholic Youth Bible
$27.95 paperback, $37.95 hardback
Saint Marys Press Web site www.smp.smumn.edu/