Lent isn’t just a time to give something up; it’s a time to tap into life’s greatest questions, search for meaning and ultimately, reencounter the Lord.
As many parishes try to figure out how to make Lent a meaningful time for their parishioners to encounter the beauty and power of the Gospel message in this unique moment in history, the Archdiocese of Denver has partnered with Real Life Catholic and the Augustine Institute to bring The Search to the Archdiocese of Denver faithful, a deep and beautifully filmed series that can help people journey through what could be one of their most meaningful Lenten seasons ever.
The Search is a seven-part video series produced by the Augustine Institute and hosted by Chris Stefanick that delves into life’s greatest questions: “Why are we here? What is life all about? What happens when we die? Where can we find answers to these questions and these desires?” People of all backgrounds can expect to find plenty to ponder on throughout this meaningful journey with host Chris Stefanick and other experts from the fields of science, medicine, psychology, art and religion.
“What The Search does really well is that it doesn’t assume anything. It addresses the most fundamental questions of the faith that we think people have already understood, but, in reality, they’re questions all of us need to reencounter at different points in our lives,” said Tim Glemkowski, Director of Strategy in the Archbishop’s Office for the Archdiocese of Denver. “These are the questions people are really asking. Sometimes we have a deep understanding of the really intellectual answers, but we may be answering questions that people aren’t asking.”
Through its personal approach, The Search can have a lot to say to Catholic and non-Catholics alike.
“We think The Search would certainly do very well for an audience that is looking for the truth and looking for answers, but that hasn’t really landed on the fact that Jesus might have the answers to all the questions of the longings of the human heart,” Glemkowski said. “But in reality, there are also so many Catholics sitting in our pews who really need to reencounter this Gospel message, because many of us haven’t really sat with it to the point that it has overwhelmed us and brought us to that decision to personally entrust our entire life to Jesus.”
The Archdiocese of Denver is one of seven dioceses collaborating with Real Life Catholic to bring this message to the faithful and others during the season of Lent. As part of the collaboration, each of the seven bishops will join Stefanick individually on his show The Life You Were Made For throughout Lent to talk about a specific topic in The Search and share their own conversion story. Archbishop Samuel J. Aquila will appear on the show during the first week of Lent on Feb. 18. (To tune in to the live show, click here).
“The Archdiocese of Denver thought this was an important initiative to highlight because, on the one hand, we think the message is critical for the moment…. We’re moving into an age of apostolic mission, where once again, the Church finds herself in a place to propose the Gospel to the culture, instead of presupposing that every individual knows it,” Glemkowski said. “On the other hand, we have an opportunity to really encounter the core Gospel message through a medium that makes sense for right now, given the reality of COVID-19.”
The Search is available for free for parishes with Formed.org. However, the Augustine Institute has generously provided The Search for free to all Archdiocese of Denver Parishes and their parishioners during this Lent and is also offering participant guides with 25 percent off and free shipping from Catholic.Market. All you need is the promo code ARCHDEN.
The archdiocese is encouraging people to form small groups that meet in person or via Zoom to go through The Search during Lent. It could be an already existing small group, or a new group made up of family or friends. If you would like to journey through this Lent using The Search as your guide, either individually or in a small group, visit archden.org/the-search for more details.
“All of us need community right now and all of us need to reencounter the Gospel message. I would encourage everyone to visit archden.org/the-search, and to not be afraid to go out into the deep and to reach out to other friends or family members,” Glemkowski concluded. “I think we’re all waiting for someone else to go first, but I think the call for us as Catholics is to be vulnerable enough to go first and say, ‘Hey, I would like to do this with you.’”
For more information, visit archden.org/the-search.