Ministry of Faith Formation at St. Mary:
· We believe that the essential purpose of catechesis is to bring about an even more mature faith in Christ, a deeper knowledge and love of His person and message, and a firm commitment to follow Him.
· We believe faith formation is an essential part of the Christian life for people of all ages.
· We believe parents are the primary models in the development of faith for their children.
· We believe adult formation is the central task of the catechetical endeavor.
· We believe faith formation should be more experiential, participative and interactive.
· We believe all should have opportunities to live, experience and practice the faith they are learning.
· We believe faith formation is the responsibility of all parishioners.
Responsibilities of the Faith Formation Commission
1. Evaluate current parish catechesis efforts in light of the six major tasks for all age groups.
Is the entire parish growing in these key areas? What areas are in need of development?
These tasks as outlined in the General Directory for Catechesis are:
• Promoting knowledge of the faith
• Liturgical education
• Moral formation
• Teaching to pray
• Education for community life
• Missionary initiation
2. Goals and objectives are in place as part of strategic plan congruent with total parish planning.
3. Catechetical Leaders and Catechists are skilled and knowledgeable. They are witnesses to the Gospel, active in parish life and faithful to the teachings of the Church.
4. Adult formation is the chief catechetical priority – the axis of all faith formation efforts.
5. Adequate funds, resources, staff and space are allocated to carry out the catechetical efforts of the parish. Budget is approved through Finance & Administration.
6. A safe environment program is provided and background checks are done for all employees and volunteers according to diocesan polices and curriculum.
7. Families, especially parents, are equipted and supported in order to create a pattern of family faith sharing, spirituality and living a Catholic way of life.
8. The diversity of peoples are incorporated into the faith life of the parish.
9. Good communications between and among all groups in the parish, deanery and diocese are ensured.
10. Sacramental Preparation is family and parish based (Marriage, Baptism, Eucharist, Reconciliation and Confirmation) and inter-generational when possible.
11. An ever increasing level of participation in the life of the parish, deanery and diocese is encouraged.
12. All youth and adults are actively educated and encouraged about vocations to the priesthood, diaconate, religious life or lay ecclesiastical ministry.
Faith Formation Priorities:
üCatechist Certification: Catechists need to be practicing Catholics who participate fully in the communal worship and life of the Church and who have been prepared for their apostolate by appropriate catechetical training. NDC 54
üHS & Young Adult Formation: A Church which will speak to their heart…which will know how to invite and welcome the person who seeks a purpose for which to commit his whole existence; a Church which is not afraid to require much, after having given much, which does not fear asking from young people the effort of a noble and authentic adventure such as that of following of the Gospel. Pope John Paul II
üTeaching God’s plan for humanity: Promote an authentic Catholic vision of marriage, human sexuality, chastity, love and family life so they can understand it, allow it to transform their lives and share this truth with compassion and charity.
üScripture Literacy & Life Application:“Sacred Scripture, the word of God, written under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, has a preeminent position in the life of the Church and especially in the ministry of evangelization and catechesis…the presentation of the gospels should be done in such a way as to elicit an encounter with Christ.
üTeaching how to Pray – Daily & Liturgical year
üFull, Active (authentic) & Conscience (interior) Participation in Mass The more lively the Eucharistic faith of the People of God, the deeper is its commitment to the mission entrusted by Christ to his disciples…help the faithful live what they celebrate. Help the faithful make hearts and minds correspond to their gestures and words. Otherwise, however carefully executed, our liturgies may risk falling into certain ritualism.” Pope Benedict
üSacramental Preparation – Family & Community based
üFamily Formation Help parents, spouses, families and households carry out the mission of the church in their homes: to believe & trust in God, love unconditionally, foster intimacy, educate in the faith, pray together, serve together, forgive & seek reconciliation, celebrate life, welcome strangers, act justly, affirm life and raise up vocations.
The ministry of faith formation at St. Mary's Parish is built upon the direction provided in the following Church Documents:
1. The National Directory for Catechesis Written by the United States Bishops, it provides basic theological and pastoral principles for catechesis and offers guidelines for the application of these principles that will continue the renewal of catechesis in the United States.
2. Our Hearts Were Burning Within Us In this statement, the bishops present a pastoral plan to help Catholics advance in their role as disciples by awakening a renewal in the ministry of adult faith formation and helping all to grow to the full maturity of Christ. In four parts, the plan examines the challenges and opportunities faced today, the key qualities of a mature faith, the principles and approaches for providing sound adult faith formation and the critical roles of parish leadership and diocesan support.
3. Sons and Daughters of the Light, A Pastoral Plan for Ministry with Young Adults In this comprehensive plan, the bishops offer an effective guide for helping young adults discover the answers to life's most profound questions through a personal relationship with Jesus and the Church.
4. Renewing the Vision, A Framework for Catholic Youth Ministry To respond to the new challenges and opportunities of our day, the Catholic Bishops of the United States offer this document as a blueprint for the continued development of effective ministry with young and older adolescents. Renewing the Vision is most importantly an affirmation of the faith, gifts, energy and fresh ideas of young people. It is a Christ-centered vision. It is a call to empower young people for the mission they have been given by the Lord Jesus.