Adult Faith Formation
“Were not our hearts burning [within us] while he spoke to us on the way and opened the scriptures to us?” (Luke 24:32)
"Faith seeks understanding": it is intrinsic to faith that a believer desires to know better the One in whom he has put his faith, and to understand better what He has revealed; a more penetrating knowledge will in turn call forth a greater faith, increasingly set afire by love. … In the words of St. Augustine, "I believe, in order to understand; and I understand, the better to believe." (CCC, 158)
Why Is Lifelong Adult Faith Formation Important?
Prayer is a “vital and personal relationship with the living and true God” (CCC #2558). If something is vital, that means it is alive—which means that it isn’t stagnating, but growing. Do you want your relationship with God to grow? Ministries which help us grow in prayer at St. Clare are the Silent Prayer Group and Spiritual Direction.
“In Sacred Scripture, the Church constantly finds her nourishment and her strength, for she welcomes it not as a human word, ‘but as what it really is, the word of God’. ‘In the sacred books, the Father who is in heaven comes lovingly to meet his children, and talks with them.’” (CCC #104). We currently offer three Bible Studies for adults at St. Clare: The Women’s Catholic Scripture Study, the Co-ed Catholic Scripture Study, and the Adult Bible Study.
“Those who belong to Christ through faith and Baptism must confess their baptismal faith before men” (CCC #14). We grow in our faith by giving it away—when we share it, talk about it, and pass it on. And we learn from others who do the same. The doctrines of the Church and the experiences of our lives converge and enrich us and others through faith sharing groups. At St. Clare, we offer the Men’s Prayer & Study Group, the Men’s Monthly Prayer Breakfast, and the Trust Building Class.
“He said to them, ‘Come away by yourselves to a deserted place and rest a while.’ People were coming and going in great numbers, and they had no opportunity even to eat. So they went off in the boat by themselves to a deserted place” (Mk 6:31-32). We all need to get away once in a while—not just on a vacation, but on a retreat. We need the physical, emotional, and spiritual “space” to listen to God—whether on an active retreat like ACTS, or on the more contemplative Silent Retreat.
Possible Future Offerings...
We'd like to continue building up the Adult Faith Formation program here at St. Clare, but we need your help! There are some exciting possibilities, but in order to offer them, we need someone willing to act as a coordinator. Maybe God is calling you to this form of service? You don't need to be a theological expert. All you need is a willing heart and the ability to organize. If you're interested in any of the following topics, then contact John Kovacs at the parish office (or send an email), and he will explain what you need to know to get started.
- Life Application -- Scripture-based studies that helps us move from "head knowledge" to "heart knowledge", so that we can apply the Scripture to our daily lives.
- Biblical Walk Through the Mass -- Explores the biblical roots of the words and gestures we experience at Mass so that we can see why we say what we say, and do what we do, every week at Mass.
- Theology of the Body -- Explores Pope John Paul II's revolutionary understanding of human sexuality, which in reality is about the whole person and the meaning of life!
- Journey Through the Catechism -- Explores not just how to be Catholic, but why to be Catholic. Systematically discover the treasures waiting you in the first universal Catechism the Church has produced in nearly 450 years!
- The Catholic's Divorce Survival Guide -- Whether we want to admit it or not, divorce happens to Catholics almost as frequently as it does to non-Catholics. This program guides participants from pain and loneliness to hope and healing, with practical advice for spiritual growth through the Sacraments, the teachings of the Church, and wisdom from experts and others who have suffered through divorce.
- Church History -- The history of the Catholic Church is the story of western civilization. It is an epic drama filled with adventure, triumph, tragedy, saints and sinners. As inheritors of this great civilization we have an obligation to preserve and hand-on our heritage. To do this, we must first know it.
- Catholic Prayer -- Explores the essentials of a fruitful prayer life, discovering the depth and riches that await us in the Catholic tradition!