Tuesday, August 30, 2022

NEW from People's Catholic Seminary Fall - 2002


Please join us for our fall forums and register for our new course: After Jesus Before Christianity.

Bridget Mary and Mary Theresa

PCS FORUMS – Fall 2022:


Unpacking the Aramaic Prayer of Jesus
Presented by Rev. Dr. Patricia Fresen, RCWP

Thursday, September 15, 2022

1pm EDT – FREE


Zoom Link: 

Meeting ID: 823 1738 1167

Passcode: 073283


Rev. Dr. Patricia Fresen was born in South Africa, studied theology in

Rome at the University of St. Thomas and the Gregoriana, and was then invited to join the faculty of the National Seminary in Pretoria.  She later completed the Doctorate in Theology and after that she taught theology at the Catholic University in Johannesburg.   However, as a direct result of her ordination to the priesthood in 2003, Dr. Fresen was forced to leave the Dominican Order, of which she had been a member for 45 years; and she had to vacate her position at Catholic University. She subsequently left her homeland to take up residence in Germany.  In recent years, Dr. Fresen has returned to South Africa.  Ordained a bishop in 2005, Dr. Fresen has ordained many women priests in Europe, Canada the USA and now South Africa.  She has been a well-respected conference speaker and retreat leader in all those countries.  At present, her most frequently-requested topics are on the translation of the Gospels from the original Aramaic, which was the language of Jesus.  She did a course with Prof. Neil Douglas-Klotz on the Aramaic of the Gospels and she says it was life-changing.   She will speak in a PCS forum on 15th September about the Our Father translated from the Aramaic.

PCS FORUM: A Conversation with James Carroll 

author of The Truth at the Heart of the Lie: How the Catholic Church Lost Its Soul - FREE

Tuesday, September 27, 2022

7pm EDT

Zoom Link:

Meeting ID: 890 1754 2054

Passcode: 955561

James Carroll weaves together the story of his quest to understand his personal beliefs and his relationship to the Catholic Church with the history of the Church itself. From his first awakening of faith as a boy to his gradual disillusionment as a Catholic, Carroll offers a razor-sharp examination both of himself and of how the Church became an institution that places power and dominance over people through an all-male clergy. 


Carroll argues that a male-supremacist clericalism is both the root cause and the ongoing enabler of the sexual abuse crisis. The power structure of clericalism poses an existential threat to the Church and compromises the ability of even a progressive pope like Pope Francis to advance change in an institution accountable only to itself. Carroll traces this dilemma back to the Roman Empire and the Middle Ages, when Scripture, Jesus Christ, and his teachings were reinterpreted as the Church became an empire. In a deeply personal re-examination of self, Carroll grapples with his own feelings of being chosen, his experiences as a priest, and the moments of doubt that made him leave the priesthood and embark on a long personal journey toward renewal - including his tenure as an op-ed columnist at The Boston Globe writing about sexual abuse in the Church. 

Ultimately, Carroll calls on the Church and all reform-minded Catholics to revive the culture from within by embracing anti-clerical, anti-misogynist resistance and staying grounded in the spirit of love that is the essential truth at the heart of Christian belief and Christian life.

Please read the book before participating in the forum. James will be focusing on his Epilogue: A Catholic Manifesto. 



PCS 507 - After Jesus, Before Christianity

Cohort begins Wednesday, October 5, 2022 at 7pm EDT

Cost: $100

Register now at:

The course begins with a recognition of assumptions of those earliest years after Jesus and which ones we ought to question. The main topics we plan to cover include examples of women in leadership roles, ancient understandings of gender, the painful reality of living with Roman violence; diverse ideas regarding self-identity, suffering, and death among Jesus’s followers; wide-ranging views of Jesus, Paul, and Mary, the Magdalene; the variety of texts available before there was any such thing as a New Testament, and new perspectives on so-called “Gnosticism” and “heresy.”


The content is divided into six sections which include inspirational introductions, lectures, and resources for further study. Throughout the course, there will also be opportunities for reflection and sharing with fellow students.


Dr. Shirley Paulson and Dr. Deborah N. Saxon

Course Facilitators

Shirley and Deb were active participants in Westar Institute’s Christianity Seminar that led to the production of the book, After Jesus Before Christianity. They bring insider knowledge of the work of the seminar over its eight years and the conclusions that have now come together in book form. This course highlights the most important of these findings—new discoveries regarding the followers of Jesus in the first two centuries C.E. These breakthroughs in understanding have implications for our thinking and practice today. To be forewarned, some of these realizations challenge traditional views, but they also liberate us from outgrown pr

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