South Charlotte

Summer school is on at St. Matthew Catholic Church

Christopher Bellitto will lead a session called “Reforming a Challenged Church” during St. Matthew’s summer series of classes.
Christopher Bellitto will lead a session called “Reforming a Challenged Church” during St. Matthew’s summer series of classes. KEAN UNIVERSITY

As the school year ends and summer slows people’s schedules, St. Matthew Catholic Church is gearing up with a series of classes on scripture, theology, social justice and saints.

“We are big believers that summer is a good time for reading and learning,” said Michael Burck, St. Matthew adult faith enrichment coordinator.

Between 350 and 600 people have enrolled each year in the St. Matthew’s annual “yoU”niversity, which has taken place the past four summers.

Classes usually are presented in a workshop format, and the church’s education leadership looks for creative topics and good presenters. Classes are open to the public.

This summer, one of the most popular sessions is expected to be “Reforming a Challenged Church,” said Burck. Christopher Bellitto, a history professor at Kean University and media commenter on church history and contemporary Catholicism, will take charge of this class and discuss the ways the church has survived and renewed itself during difficult times in church history.

The conversation also will include insight this history can provide into potential church reforms outlined by Pope Frances.

Bellitto’s 90-minute seminar will be presented 1 p.m. and 7 p.m. June 23.

All classes will be at St. Matthew’s campus at 8015 Ballantyne Commons Parkway, except for a retreat day to be at Sisters of Mercy center in Belmont. The day of rest and reflection will be led by Sister Mary Hugh Mauldin; the $20 cost includes lunch.

There are other courses to consider in St. Matthew’s 2015 summer education series:

▪ “For Earth’s Sake: A Theological Response to Our Ecological Crises,” led by Wingate religion and philosophy professor Catherine Wright. Wednesday evenings from June 10-24, the class will examine how Catholics can respond to ecological issues.

▪ Dave Galusha will lead “World Religions,” which will examine Christianity, Islam and Judaism, as well as Eastern religions. The class is Wednesday evenings from July 8-22.

▪ In the five-part “A Biblical Walk Through the Mass,” Paul Buchanan will look at the Biblical roots and significance of liturgy. The class will be Mondays from Aug. 3-31.

▪ Mauldin will lead two sessions of “The Book of Revelation,” one Mondays from June 20-Aug. 3 and a midday session Wednesdays from Aug. 5-19. The sessions will look at the structure, setting and symbolism of the book of Revelation.

▪ Mark Bartholet will discuss “Saints of the Modern Era,” examining people from around the world who have inspired Catholic spiritual life and ministry. The class will be Tuesdays from Aug. 11-25.

Marty Minchin is a freelance writer. Have a story idea for Marty? Email her at

Want to go?

Classes have a registration fee from $20 to $30. Regiser at