According Vatican News (News.VA), yesterday, October 9, 2013, Pope Francis met with members of the United Bible Societies. It is an international umbrella organization, with representatives from 146 bible societies. They were meeting with representatives of the Catholic Biblical Federation, reviewing both organizations activities, which are aimed at promoting bible study throughout the world.
The first modern Bible Society was found in England, with the goal of providing affordable Bibles to anyone who wished to obtain one. Bible societies were founded in other countries, and many begin expand their mission to provide international translations of the Bible; and increase biblical literacy. The American Bible Society was established in 1816. Locally, we have the Massachusetts Bible Society, incorporated in 1810, and is the third oldest Bible society in the United States. While the members were predominantly Protestant, currently more Catholics are either joining these societies or supporting their work. This came about after Vatican II, as Catholics have begun to rediscover the importance of Scripture in their daily lives.
“Secular Franciscans should devote themselves especially to careful reading of the gospel, going from gospel to life and life to the gospel.” (Article 4, Rule of the Secular Franciscan Order)