A number of years ago I was one of millions of “fallen away Catholics.” Unknown to me at that time was God’s plan to put my life to work for Him. Today, I have dedicated my life to making sure that others do not take lightly God’s gift of eternal life. I am convinced that in order to restore the Catholic Church to her former glory, we must begin by educating the faithful in the Church’s great inherited tradition and we must once again reach out an evangelical hand to those outside the Catholic Church, welcoming them to experience the fullness of the Kingdom of God on earth. “Today it is up to you, brothers and sisters . . . to offer the Risen Christ to your fellow citizens.” (P. Benedict XVI) While many Catholics today have a deep desire to grow in their faith and share the Faith with others, few are equipped with the educational tools to do so. Most Catholic parishes have instituted a catechetical program for children, yet few have heeded the Church’s call for continued adult faith formation and the need for evangelical outreach. In the General Directory for Catechesis, the Church has stated clearly, “Catechesis for adults, since it deals with persons who are capable of an adherence that is fully responsible, must be considered the chief form of catechesis” (GDC, 59).
Sadly, most Catholics today, if they have received any catechetical formation at all, must rely on an elementary-level training, usually received in preparation for first Holy Communion and Confirmation. With this level of education in the faith, how can Catholics be expected to express the faith to their fellow citizens in a cogent and convincing manner? In an age when the basic teachings of the Catholic Faith have been neglected and the faithful are in great need of intellectual faith formation, the Institute of Catholic Culture stands as a sign of hope. Taking our Lord’s final command to the Apostles to “make disciples of all nations” as our own, the Institute of Catholic Culture was founded in answer to the Church’s call for a “New Evangelization.”
To this end, the Institute hosts educational seminars specifically designed to build bridges of understanding, teaching authentic Catholic history, philosophy and theology as a way of healing the wounds in the Body of Christ and reaching out to those who seek knowledge of the Truth. “This saving truth, at the heart of the deposit of faith, must remain the foundation of all the Church’s endeavors, proposed to others always with respect but also without compromise.” (P. Benedict XVI) This is a daunting task, but one that we must undertake!
Within this web site, you will learn about the ICC’s exciting mission, its traditional curriculum structured upon the classical liberal arts, how you can help us renew adult faith formation in the Catholic Church, and be able to access a great number of quality, orthodox educational programs. I hope you enjoy all the resources provide, and please feel free to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions or feedback.
Fr. Hezekias (Sabatino) Carnazzo
Founding Executive Director, Institute of Catholic Culture
“I have with joy learned of the detailed efforts which you and your co-workers in the Institute for Catholic Culture are making to bring Christ to people, to promote adult formation in the Catholic faith handed on undiluted, and to reach out to people who need it most. Darkness is best dispelled by light. May Jesus Christ, our Lord and Saviour bless your apostolate abundantly.”
“The Institute of Catholic Culture is a burning fire of hope, and a safe haven where the saving truths of the Catholic Faith are being taught with clarity! The Institute of Catholic Culture is the answer to the Church’s call for a new evangelization!”
“Even in the best of times, we all need continually to deepen our knowledge of the Faith. But these aren’t the best of times. Finding a vacuum in catechesis is often preferable to finding the devastating results of Catholicism Lite. For those of us who have survived the Age of Confusion, it is a great encouragement to see organizations like the Institute of Catholic Culture growing and thriving.”
Our Holy Father has called on the Church to ‘seek new paths of evangelization’ to turn back the tide of secularization that is sweeping across our western world. If anybody is answering the Church’s call to this new mission of evangelization, it is the Institute of Catholic Culture.
Wisdom teaches us to perceive the “call of the hour” – that is, what God expects us to do at a particular moment in history. We are indebted to Deacon Sabatino for having understood that his mission is to “baptize” a culture that has degenerated into an “anti-culture.”
The Institute of Catholic Culture deserves the support of every believing Catholic. Most of our country – indeed, most of the world – does not know that Catholic culture exists, let alone what it is. The Institute of Catholic Culture is spreading and voicing it. It is part of what Pope John Paul the Great called the new springtime of the Church.
If we desire to stop this crisis in faith, it is absolutely necessary that we begin again to offer a cogent and clear explanation for the truths that we hold. We must once again teach true Catholic history, authentic Catholic philosophy, and orthodox theology to our fellow Catholics. We must equip the faithful with the armament of truth. Today, the Institute of Catholic Culture is doing just that, equipping adult Catholics with the truth of Jesus Christ!
Fr. Hezekias Carnazzo graduated from Christendom College in 2004 and completed a master’s degree in systematic theology with an Advanced Apostolic Catechetical Diploma at Christendom’s Graduate School. In 2009, Fr. Hezekias (formerly Deacon Sabatino) founded the Institute of Catholic Culture, and has since served as its Executive Director. Ordained to the priesthood on May 1, 2016, he also serves as the Director of the Office of Catechesis and Evangelization for the Melkite Greek Catholic Eparchy of Newton. He is a recipient of the Guadalupe Radio Network’s “Fishers of Men” award and the Brent Society’s Bishop Thomas J. Welsh Award for Distinguished Service. Fr. Hezekias has lectured throughout the U.S., appeared on a number of Catholic radio shows, and has twice appeared on EWTN’s Sunday Night Live program. He and his wife Linda have five children.
Monica Graves graduated from the University of Mary Washington with a Bachelor of Arts degree in 2011. After graduation, Monica served with NET Ministries (National Evangelization Teams), traveling around the United States evangelizing young Catholics. After her year of missionary work, Monica moved back to the Northern Virginia area and worked at St. James Catholic Church in Falls Church, VA. There she discovered the Institute of Catholic Culture and became a regular participant. In her free time, Monica volunteers at her Church.
Daniel M. Garland, Jr., is a Ph.D. candidate in Systematic Theology at Ave Maria University. He earned his M.A. in Theology from Franciscan University of Steubenville and his B.A. in Theatre from Florida State University. He has taught theology at Ave Maria University and Christendom College. His articles have appeared in Homiletic and Pastoral Review, Maynooth Theological Journal,Heythrop Journal, and Angelicum. He is also the first English translator of St. Jerome’s Commentary on the Prophet Haggai, which is published with IVP Academic’s Ancient Christian Texts series. Daniel lives in Front Royal, VA with his wife and five children.
Marie Antunes graduated from Christendom College with a B.A. in History in 2005. After college she served as a Missionary for the Fellowship of Catholic University Students, went on to earn her Master’s in Theological Studies with a concentration in Systematic Theology from the Graduate School of Christendom College, and most recently worked for the Diocese of Burlington, Vermont as the Director of the Office of Catholic Formation.