St. Irenaeus Ministries
Scripture Studies brought to you by the St. Irenaeus Center.
St. Irenaeus Ministries - a center of orthodox Catholic mission and renewal in Rochester, NY
Laying a firm foundation for the Gospel of Luke will allow for a much greater appreciation of this incredible book, which is written in the unique literary form of the gospels: not a biography of Jesus but more of a "snapshot" narration of specific events in his life. We refer to Luke as a synoptic gospel, a term that means "of the same viewpoint," because Luke's account shares nearly three-quarters of the same material with those of Matthew and Mark. All three are seemingly derived from the same Apostolic outline of Jesus' life. Right from the outset he speaks of his desire to clarify the truth amidst various gospel accounts describing the story of Jesus. The only Gentile writer in all of the Bible, Luke writes in an elegant, well-educated Greek that is reminiscent of the best Greek of the Septuagint. He is also undoubtedly the author of the Acts of the Apostles. A humble man, one whom Paul referred to as the "beloved physician," Luke hailed from the great cultural and economic center of Antioch, a major early Christian city known as the great mother of churches (Col 4:14).

A masterful mid-first century historian, Luke's gospel is the product of his painstaking research during the many years in which he accompanied Paul in his travels. Relying on eyewitness and historical accounts from individuals who saw Christ and others who were then residing in Palestine, Syria and Asia Minor, he writes to Theophilus, "lover of God," which could refer to either a generic Christian reader or to a specific individual. Although some scholars date Luke's gospel later, the date of composition may have been earlier than 64 A.D. In either case, he writes to a Christian who has already received basic catechesis, attempting to instruct with greater surety the truth of the Christian message.

A convert himself, Luke expresses the depths of God's universal mercy, who "come[s] to seek and to save the lost" throughout the entire world and excludes no one (19:10). He stresses Christ's unique compassion for the poor, the broken-hearted, and the outcast and also focuses on Jesus' interaction with women, a rarity among Jewish literature of any time. Luke's unique infancy narrative, which contains several Canticles and the Joyful Mysteries of the Rosary, reflects a deep perspective on the Holy Family and the heart of Mary. And his many parables (Luke has more parables than any other gospel) project a picture of Jesus Christ which we can savor through prayerful reading.
Direct download: Luke01a.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 5:04pm EST

When Todd Duncan, a 22 year-old cradle Catholic from Erie, PA, was growing up everyone thought him to be the model young parishioner who had a marked maturity in his faith. Todd thought so, too. Everything changed when he entered his first year at the Rochester Institute of Technology and realized that his Protestant friends had a much better grasp than he did on matters of faith, the Bible and even theology. But God's grace led Todd to true fellowship, to the St. Irenaeus Center and to a profound love of the Catholic Church.

Dick Graham, a cradle Catholic and president of the Rochester, NY Hibernian Society for Irish Americans, speaks on a subject very dear to his heart: Roman Catholic apologetics. Admittedly a former "BIC," or "Bible Ignorant Catholic," it was not until he had to defend his daughter's faith that he began to study apologetics. He discusses the history of Catholic apologetics and practical ways to study and also reminds us of the charge of St. Peter, who wrote in his first Epistle, "Always be prepared to make a defense to anyone who calls you to account for the hope that is within you, yet do it with gentleness and reverence."
Direct download: podMensBreakfastNov07.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 5:07pm EST

Joseph Pearce was born the son of a fierce anti-Catholic in the late 1960s. Hear the story of how God's grace carried a young, uneducated "agnostic Protestant bigot" who was "racist to the core" into the Mystical Body of Jesus Christ, the Catholic Church.
Now a professor of English Literature at Ave Maria University and the author of 147 books, including notable autobiographies of 20th Century's greatest Catholic writers, his conversion is a story of providence triumphing over political anger, racial hatred and violence. While serving his first prison sentence for "publishing material likely to incite racial hatred" Pearce began to read GK Chesterton. He felt the "rug being pulled out from underneath his prejudices" because he could not defeat Chesterton's arguments in economics and theology. During a second prison sentence he began to pray, and from that point it was only a matter of time before he was brought into the Church.
Direct download: The_Conversion_of_Joseph_Pearce.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 11:05pm EST

Dr. RJ Stansbury's talk from the 2007 Chesterton Conference discusses the crucial role that monasticism played in the conversion of St. Augustine.
Direct download: The_Conversion_of_St_Augustine.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 6:36am EST