The University Series, the multi-parish adult education program connecting faith with daily life through more than 100 courses during Lent, has added two campuses and Friday noontime classes to its program in 2014.
San Buenaventura Mission and La Reina High School have been added to the 10 Ventura County parishes that collectively host 11,000 people each year. The other sites (from west to east) are Our Lady of the Assumption (Ventura), Blessed Junípero Serra and St. Mary Magdalen (Camarillo), St. Julie Billiart (Newbury Park), St. Paschal Baylon (Thousand Oaks), St. Jude the Apostle and St. Maximilian Kolbe (Westlake Village), Holy Cross (Moorpark), and St. Rose of Lima and St. Peter Claver (Simi Valley).
The 90-minute sessions address archaeology and Scripture, current events, Church history, evangelization, faith and science, liturgy, morality and ethics, marriage and family, and spirituality. Faculty, lay and clergy, are drawn primarily from local Catholic parishes and schools, as well as some nationally known experts in their respective fields.
Typically offered on Monday through Thursday evenings (7:30-9 p.m.), this year’s University Series also includes weekly “Food for Thought” classes, Friday noon at St. Paschal Baylon, whose pastor, Father Dave Heney, originated the University Series. Sunday evening music programs at St. Paschal Baylon again will be offered as well.
Many regular University Series speakers will return, including CNN senior Vatican analyst John Allen with “The Francis Revolution,” a look at the current papacy at the one-year mark (March 17 at St. Maximilian Kolbe).
Other offerings include the following:
---Fox News analyst Father Jonathan Morris will address offering the serenity prayer as a way of life in, with “God, Give Me a Break!” (March 13 at St. Paschal Baylon).
---Dr. Stephen Hackel, curator of last year’s Huntington Museum exhibits on Blessed Junípero Serra, will join with Father Tom Elewaut, pastor of San Buenaventura Mission, on “Junípero Serra and his Legacy” (March 13 at San Buenaventura).
---Atonement Friar Joe Scerbo presents the successful EWTN film “Serra, Ever Forward, Never Backward,” that has been his work over the last few years in Southern California (March 19 at Blessed Junípero Serra).
---Joe Melendrez, the “Rosary Rapper: Live in Concert,” gives a special performance at La Reina High School, exploring Scripture and Sacraments through hip-hop beat in an extraordinary form of prayer (April 1).
---“People of the Passion,” the Last Supper meditation drama produced by Mary Rose Betten and introduced by San Francisco Archbishop Emeritus George Neiderauer, features an ensemble cast drawn from clergy and laity from local parishes, St. Andrew’s Abbey, and the Camaldolese Hermitage at Big Sur (March 18 at St. Paschal Baylon).
---Father Joe Shea, St. Rose of Lima pastor. presents a four-part Tuesday series on “Top 20 Hits in Church History,” describing the events that changed everything for Catholics in the world (March 11-April 1 at Holy Cross and St. Peter Claver).
---Dr. Carrie Hastings, Pepperdine University psychology professor and a clinician for the University of Notre Dame’s “Play Like a Champion” program, will present “Parent Like a Champion” (March 13 at La Reina).
---The 50th anniversary of Vatican II will be addressed by Fathers Leon Hutton, Kenan Osborne and Alexei Smith with observations and insights on its impact on the church, science and interfaith activities today.
---Rabbi Michael Lotker joins Father Heney for a two-part session exploring the beliefs of Catholics and Jews in “Common Roots, Current Practices” (March 27 and April 3 at St. Jude).
---Two contributors to the Tidings, Sean M. Wright and Mariaemma Pelullo-Willis, will speak, respectively, on “What Happened to the 12 Apostles?” (March 6 at Holy Cross) and “Allowing Our Children to Discover Their Mission in Life” (March 17 at Our Lady of the Assumption).
---The Faith in Music concert series features Michael John Poirier, Trevor Thomson, Lynn Rd. and sopranos Heidi Valencia Vas and Angela Hicks.
Pre-registration is $85 for an all-class pass, or $5 per class (includes a guest for free); deadline for pre-registration is Feb. 17. At-the-door price is $8 (again including a guest for free). For information, visit www.theuniversityseries.org, or a participating parish office.