Faith Formation is more than just Adult Education or a series of Faith Enrichment classes. Rather, Faith Formation is, ultimately, the spiritual, intellectual, emotional, and practical preparation for our mission as disciples of Jesus Christ sent out in to the world to spread the Good News of Salvation and work for the transformation of the world.
As men and women who have been baptized into the very death (and life) of Christ (Rom 6:3-4), we have a critical role to play in His mission of salvation to the world. As Jesus said:
"Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them all that I have commanded you; and Lo, I am with you always, until the close of the age." (Matthew 28:19-20)
This command to make disciples was not simply given to the Twelve, but to the whole Church, lay and ordained alike. Each of us has been sent out by Christ to carry on His mission of salvation. In fact, the word "mission" originally meant the "act or instance of being sent," and it is linked to the word we use for the Celebration of the Liturgy of Christ's Sacrifice, "Mass." Therefore, being sent out intimately connects to our experience worshipping at the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. By offering our very lives to God and uniting this sacrifice with Christ's one sacrifice of Himself to the Father, we bring the world (with it's joys and hopes, its brokenness and pain) to the Eucharist. Strengthened by His Body and Blood, we then bring this Eucharist back out into the world.
As lay people, we are apostles (literally 'sent ones') called especially to be Christ for the world-to proclaim the Gospel of Salvation in word and deed, evangelizing individuals as well as our culture, and seeking their transformation through the power of the Holy Spirit. We are also called to give of our very selves (our talent, experiences, and spiritual gifts) to work toward changing the structures of society in order to render them more truly just and human.
Because of our baptismal call to serve the world, lay men and women require formation that is equal to the dignity of this call. As we grow our Faith Formation opportunities here at St. Mary's, we will insure that they help all parishioners:
- Deepen their relationship with Christ and live as intentional disciples
- Understand what the Church teaches and why
- Apply that teaching to their life in the world
- Become effective witnesses in the world to the Gospel of Christ
If you have any questions about anything related to Faith Formation, please email Deacon Dave Murnane.
Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults (RCIA)
is a parish program for adults, 15 or above, that guides adults as they journey to become full members of the Catholic Church.. It is for those interested in becoming a Catholic, whether you are baptized or non-baptized, also for those Catholics who have not received the sacraments of Holy Communion and/or Confirmation. There are two roles that parishioners play: Catechist and Sponsor. The Diocese provides occasional retreats and other opportunities to learn for both roles. Those interested please call Deacon David Murnane at 856-853-5980 .