Next month’s World Synod of Bishops on the Word of God in Rome has been convened to encourage Catholics to make better use of their Bibles.

Pakistani Catholic layman Christopher Paul has already taken that instruction to heart.

The Union of Catholic Asian News reported Sept. 22 about how Paul is using the Bible to teach English and deepen his students’ faith at the same time.

Since January, Paul has been giving free English-language classes five evenings a week to 10 Christian teenagers at St. Dominic School in Lahore, Pakistan. Each 90-minute class starts with a half-hour reflection on a Bible passage in English.

Paul said lack of money prevents many Christians, most of whom are poor, from being able to study English. This often results in unemployment as many job interviews are conducted only in English.

Tania Kiran, 20, a university graduate, took Paul’s classes and subsequently landed a job as a nursery teacher in Lahore.

“The sessions helped me improve my spoken English skills,” she said. “It is a skill enhancer that also boosts confidence.”

— Tom McFeely