Being formed in the faith we cherish is something that never stops. The most readily available opportunity for it is the regular participation in the Church’s liturgical life. When liturgy is celebrated well and participated in regularly it has significant faith-formative power. In addition to this, we also need activities and projects that aim more directly and in a more focused way at the faith education of all parishioners. There are different needs for children, for youth and for adults.
The first place where our children learn the faith is at home. The parents and godparents play an important role in the faith formation of children. In the coming year, we will organize faith formation activities for children on pedagogical days (PD days). We are looking for parishioners who would be interested in sharing in this responsibility for the faith formation of our children. Please contact the parish office if you are interested in helping.
The diocese has made outreach to young people (18-35) a pastoral priority for the next five years. The Parish Pastoral Council will work with parishioners to identify ways in which our parish community can meet the needs of this group. Input from parishioners is very important in this process.
There are many ways that adults can be provided with opportunities to grow in their faith: guest speakers, discussion of a relevant topic, Bible study, reflection on Sunday Scripture readings, bulletin inserts. Parishioners can initiate these activities by bringing them to the attention of the Parish Pastoral Council.
Preparation for the Sacraments of Initiation
The sacraments of initiation are those that make us Christian. At this time, they also provide us an opportunity to provide faith formation activities for the families and individuals who are requesting these sacraments from the Church:
- The Baptism of children is celebrated communally on a Sunday afternoon five times a year. A team of parishioners welcomes the families, prepares three sessions for the parents, and helps with the celebration of the Baptism.
- Confirmation is celebrated during a Sunday Eucharist during the Easter Season. Candidates for Confirmation are provided with a year of activities which allow them to be formed more fully in the Christian life.
- First Communion, or the first participation in the Eucharist, also takes place during a Sunday Eucharist in the Easter season. Children and their families are provided with activities which allow them to get a taste of the Christian life, and of our shared communion in and with Jesus Christ which is such an important part of participation in the Eucharist.
- Increasingly, people are requesting to receive these Sacraments of Initiation at different stages in life. For example, school-aged children, youth, and adults sometime seek Baptism. The celebration of these sacraments takes place at the Easter vigil, a time when those who believe in God live through a profound faith experience. We need people of faith to work with the pastor to receive these requests and to accompany people on their journey of faith.
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