Recently I had the honor to try out a new subscription service at formed.org, that my parish has chosen to participate in. I have been using it for a week now, and I would like to share my review.
Let me start by saying that this service is just beginning so its content selection is still small, but it has an idea and purpose that I believe we should all support so that the content will increase. Formed.org is a website where you have a collection for a lot of catholic lessons which include Programs (like the ENTIRE series of Bishop Robert Barron’s “Catholicism”), Catholic movies (stories of saints), Audio (CD’s of talks from Lighthouse Catholic Media), and even books to read (writings of the Pope)! They even have content in Spanish! The different options to view and listen to are small now however it will continue to grow as it gets more support and gets known more to parishes.
How do you join formed.org?
There are two options: Independent accounts cost $9.99 a month (which is definitely worth it), but the best option is for your parish to participate in a group subscription. If they purchase a subscription to this website, their entire parish gets access for free. This is how I got an account. When your parish participates in it, you will get a “parish code” to enter in the website. Proceed to make your own account, and you have all the content included in the subscription. I should also mention that the audio on the website is downloadable, so you are able to listen anywhere when you download it to your device.
There are many incredible possibilities formed.org has for you and your parish. Think about it, with all this content available, you could have your own personal study group and classes. When I was in high school, I was a part of a program from Y-Disciple. There were some days where we would watch a clip of a video with information on a Catholic topic and then when the clip finished, we would proceed to discuss what we saw and how it affects our faith.
That program is on the website! If we came together to form communities at our own home to delve deeper in our faith, we can create our own personal groups at your own home. Whether the group is your family, a group of friends, or for homeschooled children, this is the chance to place to get a community together and delve deeper on the faith.
My former youth minister has brought up that when he is driving by a neighborhood, sometimes he sees that a “Backyard Vacation Bible School” is going on. He sees the children playing in the front so that other kids can see and be a part of it. This could be the potential of formed.org. Not necessarily VBS, but something like a group of Catholics coming together to learn about their faith and talking about what they just saw on formed.org. You now have the content to do so.
You can also use this for programs at your church. I say this to all the pastors considering this program: It is well worth the money since you get all the different programs at once and only more to come. Your parishioners will greatly appreciate the access to all the programs, books, audio, and movies that are there. No need to buy them separately. It helps more programs at your parish and at home become possible. For instance, you wanted the youth disciple group at your parish (which I highly recommend), then not only can they get together at church, but also go home to the videos in case they missed anything.
The website can also be for the parishioners own personal gain in the knowledge of the faith. Instead of binge watching Netflix, they can use that time to learn more about the faith. There is content on different topics offered through different forms of media so there is something for everyone. Money will no longer be an issue in having the availability of Catholic knowledge. The programs are simple and easy to understand. You don’t have to worry about it being something like the Summa Theologica of St. Thomas Aquinas.
If you would like to participate in this wonderful movement then please let your parish know. Something like this has such potential with this availability at home. With this, we can be better equipped to take our faith to the streets as Pope Francis has asked.
And to the pastors, I personally have gotten a lot out of this, and I know others will too. With programs like Catholicism being available to me, I can now enjoy the rich lessons it has without money being an issue. Lessons of the faith can be the greatest gift to your parishioners.
FAQs from the website (For more information, go to http://formed.org/faq/ and see what Formed has to offer):
How much does a FORMED parish subscription cost?
Please see the pricing page for more details.
$99.99/month for one program including all downloadable PDF guides.
$139.99/month for all programs including all downloadable PDF guides.
For Head Pastors: Will there be ongoing support to help me make the most of FORMED for my parish?
Our ParishCare team is providing help and advice about using FORMED. And we will also present ongoing communications and webinars about FORMED for the parish. Meanwhile, we’re only a call or a click away. Please call us toll-free at 1-844-FORMED1 (1-844-367-6331). Our normal business hours are 8am-5pm (MST) or email us at ParishCare@FORMED.org
Why is there a price difference between Parish Subscriptions and Individual Subscriptions?
Parish Subscriptions include the rights for designated programs to be used for public showing within parishes as part of small groups, classrooms, and settings with larger audiences. Individual Subscriptions allow for personal and home use only. The producers of FORMED’s content rely on the revenue from parish subscriptions, which encroach on individual subscriptions and retail sales, to create more high-quality programs
Can I get information to share FORMED with my Pastor or DRE?
Absolutely. Please visit our tutorials page for “HowTo” videos or share any of our other videos to help share FORMED. Our ParishCare team is only a call or a click away. We are here to help you get the most out of your FORMED subscription. Please call us toll free at 1-844-FORMED1 (1-844-367-6331). Our normal business hours are 8am-5pm (MST) or email us at ParishCare@FORMED.org.