National Catholic Register
St. Philip Institute: A New Way to Form First-Century Christians for the 21st Century
TYLER, Texas — How does a bishop bring “the joy of the Gospel” to the angst of the age? Bishop Joseph Strickland pondered and prayed over this question for five years as bishop and realized it was time to do something completely new for the Diocese of Tyler.
“We have to have the most intimate personal relationship with Jesus Christ that is possible to attain,” he told the Register.
The bishop thought of the Catholic friends he had growing up — most of whom lost the faith — who had no one to bring them into an intimate relationship with Jesus Christ. They had needed someone like St. Philip the Evangelist in Acts, who shared the Gospel of Jesus Christ with the Ethiopian eunuch who told Philip he could not understand the Scriptures “unless someone explains it to me.”
In 2017, Bishop Strickland rolled out his “Constitution on Teaching” to transform his diocese into a teaching diocese with a comprehensive vision for bringing Catholics into a deep, intimate relationship with Jesus Christ. The beating heart of this renewed mission to create more “first-century Christians in the 21st century” would be the St. Philip Institute