05 Editorial - Faith Information, Formation and Transformation

posted Jun 27, 2018, 10:28 AM by Neil D'Souza   [ updated Jun 28, 2018, 11:47 PM ]
The Parish Faith Formation Ministry must provide opportunities for people of all ages to grow as disciples of Jesus through engaging processes which deepen their information, formation, and transformation. Designed to touch the heart, as well as the intellect, Faith Formation helps people to deepen their relationship with God.

Faith Formation should lead us to grow in knowledge of the Church's teachings and traditions, Scripture, Liturgy, Morality, Social Justice, Prayer and Spirituality. Each person is encouraged to integrate their faith into their everyday life experiences, and to live their Baptismal call to be disciples of Jesus at home and in our world.

Members of the Catechetical Team must plan and implement a parish-wide Faith Formation Programme. The Team strives to do so by fostering an atmosphere of ongoing individual and communal formation in a way that is accessible and relates to individual life experiences. Allowing for diverse learning needs and a variety of opportunities helps create a life-long, vibrant learning environment, as we continue to grow as a community of disciples of Jesus.

In order to strengthen the partnership between family and Parish in passing on the faith, parents requesting Baptism for the first time must be asked to participate in a Pre-Baptism session. The Baptismal Preparation Team must offer these sessions at least six times a year. The team leaders must use the outline and resource materials provided by the archdiocese, and their own faith experience to facilitate a discussion about the Sacrament of Baptism, its meaning and symbols, the Rite of Baptism, and ways to nurture the faith of the child.

Adults entering the Roman Catholic Church, or those just thinking about it, must embark on a faith journey known as the RCIA (Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults). The RCIA Team and anyone in the process ought to meet as a small-faith community to learn about the Catholic faith, Church teachings and its traditions, to pray together and share scripture in order to deepen their relationship with both God and the Catholic community.

This process involves a number of stages: Inquiry, which is the initial period, when a person begins to ask questions and expresses a desire to enter the Catholic Church. Those who decide to enter the Church should be trained for a life in Christ; they are called 'catechumens' - an ancient name from the early Church.

In this stage, they delve more deeply into scripture, prayer and the teachings of the Church in order to receive the Sacraments of Baptism, Confirmation and Eucharist at the Easter Vigil. Then comes the period that allows the newly baptised a time to reflect and learn more about the mysteries of the Mass and the Sacraments in which they now fully participate. The RCIA programme requires that sponsors should be confirmed adults in good standing with the Catholic Church, willing to attend some, but not all of the Catechumenate sessions, and be role models in living the Faith for the person they sponsor. They must form a small Christian community with those interested in becoming members of the Roman Catholic Church. They share the responsibility of leading prayer and scripture, and catechising the catechumens about the Church, its teachings and traditions.

Family Catechesis Team must also prepare and carry out two to three Faith Formation gatherings for families during the year. These events must be centered on the Church's Liturgical Year and engage families and children in learning about Church traditions, teachings, Sacraments and liturgy. Members of the Committee must assume various responsibilities including hospitality, crafts, leading groups, cleanup, and setup.

For Sunday School children, the Liturgy of the Word should be simplified and explained during a designated Mass. Trained Catechists should share their faith and the joy of the Gospel with children in different age groups to accompany them through all the stages of their life.

Source: www.omcparish.com