Important pointers for donating Bibles to your community
By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)
6/19/2014 (3 years ago)
Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)
Donating Bibles to your parish is a great way to make newcomers feel welcome and to simply do good by spreading the Gospel. With a little effort, you too can do your part to help.
We have a duty to out the Bible in the hands of all people of the Earth.
LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Last spring, Pope Francis devoted one of his general audiences to talking about the Bible and its importance to Catholics. He explained that even he carries a pocket Bible and reads it when he has idle time. Pope Francis then encouraged all Catholics to do the same and distributed thousands of donated Bibles to the crowd.
In addition to having a copy of the Bible handy, Catholics are invited to distribute the Bible to others, especially those in need. Your Catholic Voice Foundation, a 503c non-profit has been collecting donations to send Bibles to children, veterans, and those who want Bibles but cannot get one for various reasons.
However, some of you have written to us asking if it is possible to donate Bibles within your own communities. Of course you can, and Catholic Shopping .com provides a large selection of low-cost Bibles for you to distribute.
Here are a few tips and pointers for those who may be interested in sharing Bibles with those in their community.
The first recommendation is that you share the official translation of the Bible as approved by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB). The current version is the New American Bible, Revised Edition, 2011. This edition makes use of the latest scholarship as well as the Dead Sea Scrolls to ensure the most accurate translation possible, consistent with Catholic instruction.
Of course, you're not limited to choosing the NAB. Catholic Shopping .com has a fantastic array of Bibles to choose from including official Spanish translations as well as Protestant versions.
Why so many versions? Our mission is to see that every single person on the planet has a Bible. It may not be the NAB. It could be a King James Bible, it could be a pocket version, it might just be the Gospels. However the most important thing is that we spread the word.
Once you have chosen your Bible and placed your order, you should consult with your priest to see where the Bibles are most needed. Are they needed in the classroom? Can you place them in the vestibule for visitors to take? There is no harm in labeling the inside cover of each Bible as a gift from you along with a particular scripture reference or a passage that you find compelling.
In addition to distributing Bibles at Church, other community organizations have a surprising appetite for Bibles. Homeless centers, shelters, food banks, community centers and more are always happy to have extra copies on hand and few will refuse your offer of a donation.
Catholic and Christian schools will normally accept donations, although they usually have their own suppliers. Still, donations of Catholic Bibles to Catholic schools are always accepted and appreciated.
In addition to these donations, you always have the option of giving these Bibles as gifts to family, friends and neighbors. Employers and employees who are not ashamed of their Christian identity may also permit such sharing, but it's good sense to make sure before you enter the workplace with such a gift as Christians can draw ire from those less appreciative of the mission.
You should avoid unsolicited donations of the Bible to children however, as this can be frowned upon. It is better to donate the gift through parents, pastors, or school officials rather than pressing them into the hands of children yourself. Of course, there's nothing wrong with setting up a table and allowing people to freely take copies, including kids.
As always, set a reasonable budget and try to join with others as you distribute these gifts. Use common sense and reason as you go about sharing the Gospel. It's okay to stay within your comfort zone of your family or parish when awarding such gifts.
You have a mission from Christ Himself, to make disciples of all nations. You know what that means. You also have a request from Pope Francis to have a copy of the Bible for yourself handy, and to share it with others. Be responsible, be generous, and above all, be faithful to the mission you have been called to perform.
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