To appeal to younger audiences, and to spread God’s Word even further, a Norwegian bishop has created a website where he shares sermons, Gospels, thoughts, and other writings. As the Catholic Church celebrated the feast of Saint Bernard of Clairveux, Bishop Erik Varden of Trondheim officially launched his website, Coram Fratribus.
Stemming from his episcopal motto “Coram Fratribus Intellexi”, it means understanding the word of God and following it as faithfully as possible. The bishop says he read the sermon on the same day he learned of his appointment as bishop. (Read: Pope Francis Presides Mass to Celebrate 500 Years of Christianity in the Philippines)
The line is taken from the sermon by Pope St. Gregory the Great on Ezekiel where he says “it is sometimes difficult to understand the meaning of the Bible when he reads it on his own, but that when he hears the same passage read out in church, ‘coram fratribus meis positus, intellexi‘ (face to face with my brothers, I have understood).”
Channel to preach the Gospel
According to Bishop Varden, he thought of creating a website to spread and emphasize God’s living Word. “My mission as a bishop is to preach the Gospel, so the goal for the website is to act as a channel in this,” he said. He added that he feels there is a “thirst” for homilies.
There are four categories on the Coram Fratribus website: Word on the Word, Notebook, Life Illuminated, and Archives.
Word on the Word
Word on the Word is a collection of all the sermons the bishop had done in his years as a member of the religious community. It is published in the languages in which he held them. (Read: Remembering St. Andrew Kim Taegon On His 200th Birth Anniversary)
The Notebook is where one can find the bishop’s reflections throughout the day–similar to words and thoughts we would write on our own notebook about a plethora of topics.
This is the section where Bishop Varden shares his personal experiences, especially about his life as a monk. The Norwegian religious is a Trappist monk, as well as a bishop.
It is where you would find articles, texts, interviews, book reviews, and audio files. The audio files include Gospels in original language, which is an ongoing project along with the website.
You can check out Coram Fratribus here.