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

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Presentation on theme: "Vision of Lifelong Faith Formation Models for Parish Programming Diocese of Buffalo."— 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 ... 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”) Vision of Lifelong Faith Formation

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 Engaging Learning Experiences ExperientialExperiential Image-richImage-rich Multi-sensoryMulti-sensory Interactive and ParticipatoryInteractive and Participatory Appropriate for All Learning StylesAppropriate for All Learning Styles Applicable to Real LifeApplicable to Real Life Project-CenteredProject-Centered Vision of Lifelong Faith Formation

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

9 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. Vision of Lifelong Faith Formation

10 Diversity of Learning Formats 1.Independent learning 2.Small group learning 3.Large group learning 4.Study action projects / service 5.Spiritual development 6.Online presence

11 Approaches & Models 1.Life-Span Faith Formation a)thematic faith formation for all ages b)milestones faith formation c)events-centered intergenerational faith formation d)faith formation in Christian practices 2.Family and Intergenerational Models 3.Age Group Program Models 4.Internet & Communication Media

12 Lifelong: Thematic  Align Faith Themes across All Age Groups Four Pillars of CatechismFour Pillars of Catechism 1. Creed2. Sacraments 3. Morality4. Prayer Lectionary Cycle of ReadingsLectionary Cycle of Readings Children’s Textbook ThemesChildren’s Textbook Themes

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

14 Lifelong: Thematic 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 Adultspresentation Theme eg.: We Believe (Creed) Month: October

15 Lifelong: Milestones 1.Birth / Baptism Becoming a Parent/ Grandparent 2.Anniversary of Baptism 3.Welcoming Young Children to Worship 4.Entering “Sunday School” 5.Starting School 6.Kids and Money 7.Blessing of the Backpacks 8.First Communion 9.Receiving a first Bible

16 Lifelong: Milestones 10.Confirmation 11.Graduation (HS, College) 12.A New Home / Apartment 13.Career / First Job 14.Engagement 15.Wedding 16.Retirement or AARP Card 17.Transitions 18.Death / Funeral

17 Lifelong: Milestones  Family Components Faith ConversationsFaith Conversations Devotions and PrayerDevotions and Prayer ServiceService Rituals and TraditionsRituals and Traditions Family MealFamily Meal

18 Lifelong: Whole Parish Adults Young Adults Older Adults Whole Families 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 1.Church Year & Scripture 2.Creed 3.Sacraments 4.Morality 5.Justice 6.Prayer

22 Adults

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 Sunday Readings 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.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.“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.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 Our Goal Family Faith Practice Service Rituals and Traditions Devotions and Prayer Caring Conversations Family Meal Family Faith Formation

32  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. Redesign programs to incorporate family learning. Involve the whole family in worship and leadership roles. Involve the whole family in worship and leadership roles.

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

35  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. 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. The life span approach creates a partnership between home and parish. Family Faith Formation

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

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38  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. 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-child/teen programming Parent information and resources: print, audio, video, and/or web-based. Parent information and resources: print, audio, video, and/or web-based. Parallel parent program to the children and adolescent program. Parallel parent program to the children and adolescent program.

39 Intergenerational Faith Formation Elements of Intergenerational Learning 1.an all-ages learning experience for the whole assembly 2.age-appropriate in-depth learning experiences for families with children, adolescents, young adults, and adults 3.an all-ages contributive learning experience in which each generation teaches the other generations 4.reflection on the learning experience and interactive group sharing

40 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) Intergenerational Faith Formation

41  Offer intergenerational learning programs: monthly learning programs monthly learning programs weekly or bi-weekly small groups weekly or bi-weekly small groups intergenerational summer camp programs intergenerational summer camp programs intergenerational vacation Bible school intergenerational vacation Bible school intergenerational Bible study intergenerational Bible study intergenerational retreats intergenerational retreats Intergenerational workshops 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: 1.Independent learning 2.Small group learning 3.Large group learning 4.Study action projects 5.Spiritual development 6.Online presence

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

46 Small Group Learning 2. Small Group Learning discipleship or faith sharing groupsdiscipleship or faith sharing groups Bible study groupsBible study groups topical study groupstopical study groups practice-focused groupspractice-focused groups special interest groupsspecial interest groups ministry groupsministry groups

47 Large Group Learning 3. Large Group Learning multi-session coursesmulti-session courses speaker seriesspeaker series one-session programone-session program round table discussionsround table discussions parent parallel learningparent parallel learning field tripsfield trips workshopsworkshops film festivalsfilm festivals

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

49  Engage People in a Variety of Study-Action Projects Local, national, global projectsLocal, national, global projects Age groupsAge groups FamiliesFamilies Multi-generationalMulti-generational ProcessProcess Study  Action  ReflectionStudy  Action  Reflection Action  Reflection  StudyAction  Reflection  Study Study-Action

50  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 Study-Action

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 prayersilence and silent prayer centering prayercentering prayer meditative prayermeditative prayer praying with poetry, art, or musicpraying with poetry, art, or music reading and meditating on Bible storiesreading and meditating on Bible stories prayers of praise, confession, petition, intercession, and thanksgivingprayers of praise, confession, petition, intercession, and thanksgiving

53  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. Spiritual Development

54  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. Spiritual Development

55  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. Spiritual Development

56 Internet & Communication 1.online learning courses and activities 2.online small groups, courses, and reading groups 3.faith formation resources for individuals and families 4.social networking 5.daily Bible study / prayer-of-the-day 6.audio and video podcasts of sermons and guest speakers, and links to other sources (iTunes) 7.e-newsletter

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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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