Our recent SEAS Newsletter had an overview of the many spiritual enrichment adult faith formation opportunities that will be available at our parish over the next several months. You may be wondering why there has been an increase in opportunities for adult enrichment being presented in the parish; after all isn’t faith formation for our youngsters, youth, and young adults? It definitely seems that’s where the emphasis for faith formation has been over the last several years, but a better understanding of the Church’s position on adult faith formation would help.
The following excerpts are from the introduction of a document formulated by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishop’s Our Hearts Were Burning Within Us: A Pastoral Plan for Adult Formation in the United States. http://www.dioceseoflaredo.org/images/Image/adultrel/OurHeartsWB.text.usccb.pdf
“The Church’s pastoral ministry exists to sustain the work of the Gospel. One way it does this is by nourishing and strengthening lay men and women in their calling and identity as people of faith, as contributors to the life and work of the Church, and as disciples whose mission is to the world. To grow in discipleship throughout life, all believers need and are called to build vibrant parishes and diocesan communities of faith and service.”
“Adult faith formation, by which people consciously grow in the life of Christ through experience, reflection, prayer, and study, must be ‘the central task in [this] catechetical enterprise,’ becoming ‘the axis around which revolves the catechesis of childhood and adolescence as well as that of old age.’ This can be done specifically through developing in adults a better understanding of and participation in the full sacramental life of the Church.”
“To make this vision a reality, we, as the Catholic bishops of the United States, call the Church in our country to a renewed commitment to adult faith formation, positioning it at the heart of our catechetical vision and practice. We pledge to support adult faith formation without weakening our commitment to our other essential educational ministries.”
What does this mean for all of us – particularly as a member of SEAS Catholic Community? By participating in spiritual enrichment opportunities as adults, we continue on our journey of discipleship that was bestowed upon us through Baptism and that we further accepted and acknowledged as adults through Confirmation. We “Grow As Disciples” through these experiences, which allows us to help bring to reality our SEAS vision that “Every person touched by our Parish community is Welcomed, Valued and Enriched in Christ.”
We’re looking forward to growing with you at these opportunities.