By Kaelanne Jordan, firstname.lastname@example.org
The Catholic Religious Education Development Institute (CREDI) has partnered with the Augustine Institute Resource Center for free access to the FORMED online platform for the next 12 months, commencing June 1, 2022 to May 31, 2023. Dubbed the Catholic Netflix, FORMED provides “the very best” of Catholic content from the Institute to help parishes, families and individuals explore their faith via thousands of movies, children’s programs, ebooks, audio, parish programs and studies.
In an interview with Catholic News’ Dominique Heffes-Doon, CREDI’s Executive Chair Jacqueline Francois explained that notwithstanding CREDI’s “longstanding relationship” with the Institute, the idea to subscribe to “this phenomenal online platform” came from Archbishop Jason Gordon.
“He met some of the principals of Augustine Institute and he himself got on the platform and he got so excited and enthusiastic. And one of the reasons he did that was because faith formation throughout our entire lives holds such an importance in our life. But we’re busy, life gets in the way…. Whether you are in the religious order or whether you are living as an adult in your families… this platform is very easily accessible” on any device with internet connection.
The FORMED menu offers programmes on the Sacraments, Bible studies, faith formation, youth programmes, daily reflections, book clubs, to name a few.
So why now? Francois responded, “because it is the will of the Holy Spirit.”
“The audience should know that we are on a synodal journey. Synod means that we are all walking together, listening to each other and most importantly, listening for the voice of the Holy Spirit. As we listen to the voice of the Holy Spirit, it is much more important for us to be quiet and contemplate what God is saying to us, the world. But at the same time, when we hear His answers, there may be questions that are in our minds or questions that are asked of us by our children, or people of other faith, and this resource, again, I can’t stress enough, there is a menu of rich material on the FORMED platform…”
Describing herself as a “binge” Netflix user, Heffes-Doon expressed satisfaction that FORMED provides the opportunity to binge watch content that does not “take us away from God.”
She mentioned, “I’m very concerned what my kids consume…they consume too much YouTube. This offers me a menu of shows, cartoons, small snapshot series just explaining the richness of Catholic faith. From a parental perspective, I cannot wait to introduce this to our Catholic parents and Catholic schools.”
Adding to the conversation, Fr Kwesi Alleyne, parish priest at the Church of the Incarnation, Maloney said that he “really delved” into the FORMED platform during the three and a half years he was based at the Toco/Matelot parish.
“What I found in the FORMED platform in which there is so much that is valuable for your use, and I was drawn both to the quality of the presentation but also the sound content.”
He mentioned that the core resource he tapped in to at the Toco/Matelot parish for the RCIA programme was the Symbolon.
According to leaders.formed.org, the Symbolon gives candidates and catechumens a systematic understanding of the Catholic faith. It is designed specifically for the catechumenate stage of RCIA and can be “particularly impactful” when addressing issues of ongoing discipleship with classes approaching reception into the Church.
Fr Alleyne added, “…And what we found is that we were able to engage our RCIA participants, that they found the material very interesting. We were able to make links with our Trinidadian experience, to build on it and what was helpful with the Symbolon course …it allowed for both the facilitators and participants to really delve into the material.”
Overall, Francois viewed FORMED as a powerful tool for building domestic Church in one’s daily life and family routine. It is, she reiterated, a “wonderful resource” persons can rely on “that can get you that extra little bit of clarification if you have a doubt about something…”
How to register:
For assistance registering on the FORMED platform, contact CREDI at email@example.com