What is Adult Faith Formation?
Adult Faith Formation is any experience by which people consciously grow in the life of Christ. These experiences include, but are not limited to, opportunities for study and discussion, prayer and reflection, fellowship and mutual support. Through Baptism, we are gifted by God to know and live our faith. Adult Catholics must be mature in faith and well equipped to share the Gospel, promoting it in every family circle, in every church gathering, in every place of work, and in every public forum. In answer to our Baptismal call to holiness, we are challenged to growth in discipleship and to be women and men of prayer whose faith is alive and vital, grounded in a loving relationship with Jesus.
How can the parish assist you in forming your faith?
Just as a seminary is the “House of Formation” for those studying for ordained priesthood, your parish is intended to be the “House of Formation” for adult laity. The United States bishops were so convinced of this, that they created a Pastoral Plan for Adult Faith Formation entitled, Our Hearts Were Burning Within Us. In this document, the bishops stress the “pivotal importance of the Parish as the principal forum for lay formation.” They also emphasize that the “parish is the curriculum” for all ongoing adult faith formation since it creates a “living climate of faith.” “The parish exists not for itself but for the mission of Christ.”
Goals for Parish Adult Faith Formation
- To help develop a deeper relationship with Jesus Christ, thereby, living more faithfully as missionary disciples of Jesus Christ in our daily lives.
- To promote awareness of faith as a lifelong journey beginning in the “Domestic Church” and continuing beyond the conclusion of formal religious education classes or instruction within a Catholic School.
- To increase knowledge of the core content of the Catholic Faith as presented in the Catechism of the Catholic Church.
- To enrich and expand understanding of the Scriptures and Sacred Tradition and their application to modern life.
Where are you on the journey of ongoing conversion?
“Our Faith is not meant to be lived out in a vacuum but in all the activities of our lives. We are on a journey of ongoing conversion that unfolds slowly over time. People are at different places in this journey.” (Nurturing Adult Faith: A Manual for Parish Leaders) Prayerfully read about the disciples walk to Emmaus as recorded in Luke 24:13-35. After pondering this Scripture passage, reflect upon where you are on the journey of ongoing conversion. Are you a stranger, feeling alienated from the Church you once loved? Can you recognize Jesus walking beside you and speaking to you? Is your heart burning within you? Please allow the Adult Faith Formation Program of Saint Maria Goretti Parish to assist you no matter where you are on the journey.