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Vision of Lifelong Faith Formation

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Presentation on theme: "Vision of Lifelong Faith Formation"— Presentation transcript:

1 Vision of Lifelong Faith Formation
Models for Parish Programming Diocese of Buffalo

2 Vision of Lifelong Faith Formation
. . . encourage a living, explicit and fruitful profession of faith . . . put people not only in touch, but also in communion and intimacy, with Jesus Christ (GDC) The object of catechesis is communion with Jesus Christ. Catechesis leads people to enter the mystery of Christ, to encounter him, and to discover themselves and the meaning of their lives in him. (NDC)

3 Vision of Lifelong Faith Formation
Faith is a gift destined to grow in the hearts of believers. Adhering to Jesus Christ, in fact, sets in motion a process of continuing conversion, which lasts for the whole of life. (GDC)

4 Vision of Lifelong Faith Formation
. . . the main task of handing on the faith is the whole community’s task, carried out as members of the community gather together to sustain each other, go out and witness to, and even work to transform (when appropriate) the world in the name of Jesus, the Christ. (Terrence Tilley, “Communication in Handing on the Faith”)

5 Part 1 Vision of Lifelong Faith Formation
How can we provide faith formation across the whole lifespan? Age groups (young children—older adults) Families Intergenerational At the parish At home

6 Vision of Lifelong Faith Formation
Integrated & Comprehensive Formation through participation in the life of the faith community Education in Scripture and the Catholic tradition Apprenticeship in the Christian life Intimate connection with the liturgy and rituals of the Church Development of a life of prayer Engagement in actions of justice and service (General Directory for Catechesis 90)

7 Vision of Lifelong Faith Formation
Engaging Learning Experiences Experiential Image-rich Multi-sensory Interactive and Participatory Appropriate for All Learning Styles Applicable to Real Life Project-Centered

8 Vision of Lifelong Faith Formation
Connected Faith Formation Church Life & Faith Practices Faith Formation Home/Family

9 Vision of Lifelong Faith Formation
Connected Faith Formation Prepare people for participation in church life—worship, prayer, service, liturgical year, leadership—through faith formation programming. Engage people in church events and incorporate a learning-reflection component.

10 Vision of Lifelong Faith Formation
Diversity of Learning Formats Independent learning Small group learning Large group learning Study action projects / service Spiritual development Online presence

11 Approaches & Models Life-Span Faith Formation
thematic faith formation for all ages milestones faith formation events-centered intergenerational faith formation faith formation in Christian practices Family and Intergenerational Models Age Group Program Models Internet & Communication Media

12 Lifelong: Thematic Align Faith Themes across All Age Groups
Four Pillars of Catechism 1. Creed 2. Sacraments 3. Morality 4. Prayer Lectionary Cycle of Readings Children’s Textbook Themes

13 Lifelong: Thematic Weekly age-appropriate, learning materials on the Lectionary readings Ages: 3-5, 6-8, 9-11, 12-14, 15-18, Adult Weekly Worship Material: prayers, sermon ideas Weekly Service Materials: faith in action projects

14 Theme eg.: We Believe (Creed) Month: October
Lifelong: Thematic Theme eg.: We Believe (Creed) Month: October Learning Group Learning Model Family 3-hour family-centered program Children 4-session unit (weekly) Middle School 4-week mini-course Teens 2 youth meetings Young Adults & Adults 4-week faith sharing Adults presentation

15 Lifelong: Milestones Birth / Baptism Becoming a Parent/ Grandparent
Anniversary of Baptism Welcoming Young Children to Worship Entering “Sunday School” Starting School Kids and Money Blessing of the Backpacks First Communion Receiving a first Bible

16 Lifelong: Milestones Confirmation Graduation (HS, College)
A New Home / Apartment Career / First Job Engagement Wedding Retirement or AARP Card Transitions Death / Funeral

17 Lifelong: Milestones Family Components Faith Conversations
Devotions and Prayer Service Rituals and Traditions Family Meal

18 Lifelong: Whole Parish
All Ages Intergenerational Approach

19 Lifelong: Whole Parish
Characteristics Involvement of all ages in faith formation together Curriculum centered in the life of the church: events-centered Preparation of all generations for participation in Catholic community life, especially Sunday Mass

20 Lifelong: Whole Parish
Intergenerational learning: all of the generations learning together Formation of the whole family, and especially parents, to create a pattern of family faith sharing and a Catholic way of life at home

21 Lifelong: Whole Parish
Core Curriculum for the whole community with intergenerational learning for all ages Church Year & Scripture Creed Sacraments Morality Justice Prayer


23 Lifelong: Whole Parish
Advent Jesus the Messiah Christmas – Epiphany Divinity of Jesus Lent Journey with Jesus Good Friday Death of Jesus Easter Season Resurrection Pentecost Mission of the Christian Sunday Readings Ministry of Jesus Identity of Christ

24 Lifelong: Whole Parish
Baptism Celebrations of Baptism, Baptism of the Lord, Easter Season Confirmation Celebration of Confirmation, Pentecost Eucharist Sunday, First Eucharist, Holy Thursday, Corpus Christi Reconciliation Lent, Reconciliation Services Anointing of the Sick Celebration of Sacrament, February Lectionary Readings (Cycle B) Marriage World Marriage Day, Holy Family Sunday Orders Vocations Day

25 Lifelong: Whole Parish
Connecting Faith, Worship, and Life Based upon the Gospel and the call of Pope Benedict XVI and his predecessors for a new evangelization and stronger catechetical effort, St. Elizabeth of Hungary Parish uses a liturgy-centered, lifelong, and intergenerational approach to Catholic faith formation. The goal is to help and support everyone who wishes to become a better disciple by integrating faith, worship, and life in light of the Gospel. Since this is an ongoing, lifelong task, we invite EVERYONE in the parish to participate. All are welcome!

26 Lifelong: Whole Parish
Connecting Faith, Worship, and Life September: Mass for the 24th Sunday in Ordinary Time October: Mass for the 28th Sunday in Ordinary Time November: Mass for the 32nd Sunday in Ordinary Time December: Mass for the 2nd Sunday of Advent January: Mass for the Baptism of the Lord February: Mass for the 1st Sunday of Lent March: Mass for Palm Sunday April: Mass for the 4th Sunday of Easter May: Mass for Holy Trinity Sunday

27 Family Faith Formation
“. . . in every Christian family the different aspects and functions of the life of the entire Church may be reflected: mission; catechesis; witness; prayer etc. Indeed in the same way as the Church, the family ‘is a place in which the Gospel is transmitted and from which it extends.’ The family as a locus of catechesis has a unique privilege: transmitting the Gospel by rooting it in the context of profound human values. …It is, indeed, a Christian education more witnessed to than taught, more occasional than systematic, more ongoing and daily than structured into periods.” (General Directory for Catechesis, 1997)

28 Family Faith Formation
For the good of families and the whole Christian community, the church must provide opportunities to equip homes as centers of faith formation at every stage of life, and this needs to be a primary goal for congregational ministry. Congregations need to make family faith formation one focus of everything they do as a church community.

29 Family Faith Formation
The evidence clearly shows that the single most important social influence on the religious and spiritual lives of children and adolescents is their parents.

30 Family Faith Formation
“We’ll get what we are.” Most parents most likely will end up getting religiously of their children what they themselves are. The best way to get most youth involved in and serious about their faith communities is to get their parents more involved in and serious about their faith communities. (Christian Smith, Soul Searching)

31 Family Faith Formation
Caring Conversations Family Meal Our Goal Family Faith Practice Devotions and Prayer Service Rituals and Traditions

32 Family Faith Formation
Utilize church ministries and programming to teach, model, and demonstrate family faith practices, and then provide the resources for families to live the practice at home, e.g., Sunday Worship.

33 Family Faith Formation
Involve the whole family in congregational life, programs, and leadership roles. Redesign programs to incorporate family learning. Involve the whole family in worship and leadership roles.

34 Family Faith Formation
Offer family learning programs: monthly large group family sessions family workshops on family faith practices, church year seasons, and/or family topics family cluster or small group learning programs family-centered lectionary-based program family-centered vacation Bible school family retreats and camps family Bible study family-centered sacramental preparation

35 Family Faith Formation
Develop family faith formation around lifecycle milestones. Life cycle specific faith formation around life span milestones at home and in the congregation, utilizing daily, seasonal, and yearly practices and traditions. The life span approach creates a partnership between home and parish.

36 Family Faith Formation
Offer family service programs & projects. Provide at-home resources for the family faith practices. Use the Internet to resource and connect families.

37 Family Faith Formation

38 Family Faith Formation
Provide parent education, resources, support, and encouragement. Classes, workshops, retreats, and/or support groups to nurture parental faith; to teach parenting skills, ways to share faith at home, etc. Parent-child/teen programming Parent information and resources: print, audio, video, and/or web-based. Parallel parent program to the children and adolescent program.

39 Intergenerational Faith Formation
Elements of Intergenerational Learning an all-ages learning experience for the whole assembly age-appropriate in-depth learning experiences for families with children, adolescents, young adults, and adults an all-ages contributive learning experience in which each generation teaches the other generations reflection on the learning experience and interactive group sharing

40 Intergenerational Faith Formation
Meal and Community Building (30 minutes) Part 1. Gathering and Prayer (10-15) Part 2. All Ages Learning Experience (20-30) Part 3. In-Depth Learning Experience (75-90) Option 1. Whole Group Option 2. Age Group Option 3. Activity Center Part 4. Sharing Learning Experiences and Home Application (15-20) Part 5. Closing Prayer (5-10)

41 Intergenerational Faith Formation
Offer intergenerational learning programs: monthly learning programs weekly or bi-weekly small groups intergenerational summer camp programs intergenerational vacation Bible school intergenerational Bible study intergenerational retreats Intergenerational workshops

42 Intergenerational Faith Formation
Develop a faith formation curriculum for the whole community using intergenerational faith formation as the primary learning model. Extend a topic or theme being featured in the faith formation program for children or adolescents, to the whole community through intergenerational learning. Replace a topic in the children or adolescent program with intergenerational learning on the same theme.

43 Intergenerational Faith Formation
Add intergenerational learning to sacramental preparation and celebrations. Conduct intergenerational faith formation before major church year feasts and seasons, as well as church events. Add intergenerational learning to a vacation Bible school or summer program. Conduct intergenerational learning around justice issues, events, and action projects. Sponsor an intergenerational retreat for the whole community.

44 Age Group Learning Models
Models of learning for age groups: Independent learning Small group learning Large group learning Study action projects Spiritual development Online presence

45 Independent Learning 1. Independent Learning
podcasts and audio learning video podcasts and video-based learning online courses & online learning centers parish web site

46 Small Group Learning 2. Small Group Learning
discipleship or faith sharing groups Bible study groups topical study groups practice-focused groups special interest groups ministry groups

47 Large Group Learning 3. Large Group Learning multi-session courses
speaker series one-session program round table discussions parent parallel learning field trips workshops film festivals

48 Study-Action 4. Study-Action Projects: combine study, action, and reflection Justice and service projects: local, national, global Age groups Families Multi-generational Church ministry/leadership groups

49 Study-Action Engage People in a Variety of Study-Action Projects
Local, national, global projects Age groups Families Multi-generational Process Study  Action  Reflection Action  Reflection  Study

50 Study-Action Add an Action Project to a Learning Program: for Participants, Families or for the Whole Church Program  Action  Reflection Option for Poor Creation/Environment Dignity of Human Life Rights and Responsibilities Peace

51 Spiritual Development
Offer retreat experiences for age groups, families, & intergenerational Infuse spiritual practices into all program: classes, youth programs, adult programs, meetings, leadership groups

52 Spiritual Development
Teach spiritual practices and disciplines (variety of prayer forms and techniques) silence and silent prayer centering prayer meditative prayer praying with poetry, art, or music reading and meditating on Bible stories prayers of praise, confession, petition, intercession, and thanksgiving

53 Spiritual Development
When youth leaders practice the presence of God within their ministries, lives are changed (adult and youth). When youth ministries pray and attend to God, there is greater patience, generosity, kindness, self-discipline, hope, joy, and love, as well as other fruits of the Spirit. With regular exposure to spiritual exercises youth began to notice their youth programs felt more centered on God and the spiritual life, and less focused on social and recreational activities.

54 Spiritual Development
In evaluating the young people’s experience of silence, solitude, and contemplative prayer, a majority of students within the project expressed a desire for continual growth in prayer and spiritual practice. Young people remarked about the lack of open time and space in their lives and were surprised by the “holy leisure” they encountered in the project’s contemplative retreats and in their youth groups.

55 Spiritual Development
Other young people felt affirmed by the diversity of prayer within the Christian tradition and found the different forms of prayer encouraging to their own spiritual growth. There was a widespread desire among youth in our participating churches to integrate spiritual practices into daily life, such as using workout times as times for prayer and meditation, journaling, and setting aside time in the early morning or before bed to practice silent prayer.

56 Internet & Communication
online learning courses and activities online small groups, courses, and reading groups faith formation resources for individuals and families social networking daily Bible study / prayer-of-the-day audio and video podcasts of sermons and guest speakers, and links to other sources (iTunes) e-newsletter



59 The Seven Storey Mountain by Thomas Merton
The American Catholic Experience Biblical Literary Forms The Gospel of John: The Book Of Glory Jesus Christ: Yesterday and Today Liturgy: A Guide for the Perplexed The Papacy The Letters of St. Paul Catholic Prayer: The Lord’s Prayer, the Hail Mary, and the Doxology The Creed: We Believe Core Course: An Introduction to Theology

60 Sacred Space
We invite you to make a 'Sacred Space' in your day, and spend ten minutes, praying here and now, as you sit at your computer, with the help of on-screen guidance and scripture chosen specially every day

61 Online Magazine

62 Conclusion For more information about any of the models described in the power point, please contact: Mary Beth Coates, director Department of Lifelong Faith Formation Diocese of Buffalo Acknowledgement: Adventures Project, January 2007; author: John Roberto, Lifelong Faith Associates.

63 Family

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