On Tuesday 19 September 2023 a group who have been meeting via zoom every month since February had our last session. Over these months we have been progressively reading St Paul’s Letter to Romans and discussing and sharing our insight.
A special thank you to Fr Brendan Byrne SJ whose book on Galatians and Romans was our ‘bible’ for the duration. In choosing the most difficult letter of Paul as our study we knew we could rely on Brendan’s book to guide us along the way, just as we had the previous year when we were reading The Gospel of St John, and we used Brendan’s reading of John, Life Abounding.
It’s been a stimulating eight months with Paul. We started with Brendan online at our first two Zoom meetings, giving us a background on Paul and his world and the important chapters in this letter. From there we continued on our own with so many valuable contributions each month from our regular participants. It’s been a group where most participants have felt comfortable enough to put forward their contributions.
A special thank you too to Fr David Hofman O.Carm whose wise counsel we often turned to when we had difficulty fathoming why Paul had said something particularly blunt or critical to his followers in Rome,  or when there was some complex theology that needed explaining.
I think we all finished Romans believing we liked and admired Paul more than we had at the start: his mind, his deep faith, tenacity, stamina, zeal, and the power of his oratory. Reading the letter in its entirety is rewarding and illuminating.
Fittingly we ended our study today with Brendan online with us again and with Justin Butler SJ, one of Brendan’s students contributing too.
Jackie Tidey and Clare McArdle
Discussion our in progress regarding the scripture for our study topic for 2024.