Adult Faith Formation: Dei Charis

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Xenon-135

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Man alive! Here I am again, in a spritual slump. RCIA has concluded as of Pentecost and the parish is taking a “Summer Sabbatical” on the faith formation effort.

In all honesty, our parish and even our cluster of parishes is just about as barren of adult faith formation as the Arabian Desert. It seems to be such a struggle to generate intrest, with those in the postion to institute such activities, in things such as adult Bible studies, prayer and meditation groups, or just general Adult Faith Group meetings. It seems that from talking with various members of my parish and our cluster, that there is a great interest in adult faith formation. Its obvious that many of the “Non Dennominational” churches in our area capitalize not on the excellence of their own adult faith programs, but primarily on the ABSENCE of such an means for spiritual development in the local Catholic parishes.

Does anyone know of the delimea for which I write? I sure could use some suggestions on how to convey new ideas about structured adult faith formation. Private meditation and prayer is essential for our spritual growth, but there is a need, a desperate neeed, for human interaction in one’s spritual journey in addition to the private element. Why else would Jesus have “put on flesh”, if it were not to set the example that we are to fellowship with one another on such matters?

Now, I am not saying that Mass is in adequate. Mass is absolutely essential, and it is defiantely a time when we collectively gather together as Gods people. However, no one can deny that the solemnity of the Mass and the reverence necessary to be exercized prohibits the kinds of discussion that would be akin to a Bible study or spiritual group meeting.

Look forward to reading your imput.
 
Might be interesting to get a group together and read through some of the Church Fathers and discuss. I am slowly moving through a textbook (type book), Faith of the Early Fathers up to the Council of Nicaea and it is fascinating. You can really see in them the origins of the faith, and at the same time, powerful refutation of some Protestant contentions that the Catholic Church didn’t start to go wrong until the Middle Ages. If the Catholic Church started going wrong, it went wrong immediately, as soon as Christ ascended into Heaven. Anyway, my two cents.
 
i have 2 suggestions for you. you could start a book club based on catholic literature. Maybe ask your pastor if you can put an announcement in your bulletin to see who else in your parish might be interested. some good ones to start with (in my opinion): The Journey Toward God by Fr. Benedict Groeschel (or just about anything else he has written), A Father Who Keeps His Promises by Scott Hahn (again i have found all of his books very readable and insigtful); Theology for Beginners by Frank Sheed, The Imitation of Christ by Thomas a kempis, Spirit of Penance Path to God by Dom Hubert Van Zeller. You could also go to Scott Hahn’s web site as he has started a Bible study that you can download (i think it is [www.salvationhistory.com, but i am not sure). God bless you in your journey. :gopray:](www.salvationhistory.com, but i am not sure). God bless you in your journey. :gopray:)
 
Thank you for the suggestions. I think its a great idea to start something like a book club in my parish, unfortunately trying to convince the staff is another story. Thus, on that aspect I need your prayers.

I was thinking, rather than focus on a particular author or a book, I would attempt to initially address a topic or theme. Like lets say we were to discuss the best selling book series, “Left Behind” and the eschatology and the rapture phenomonon thats associated with it, only from a Catholic perspective.
This is one on the least discussed topics of any laity in any Catholic parish in the world, yet it is at the forefront of the minds of many American protestants.

In recent years, a trio of Catholic converts have published books addressing rapturists perspective. This triangle of pyle-driving literature leaves even the most ardent dispensationalist without a defense. The books of course are, “The Rapture Trap” by Paul Thigpen, “Will Catholics be Left Behind?” by Carl Olson, and David Currie’s magnum opus “RAPTURE: The end times error that leaves the Bible behind”.

Similarily, there are several authors that are taking issue and publishing works addressing the Da Vinci Code book and its claim to credibility. This particular issue has an eccumenical possibility because of the broad attack that the text makes against Christianity as a whole.

Talk to you all later.

Thanks again
 
Sidenote for the fine book “The Rapture Trap” you mentioned. There is now a first class study guide based on the book, suitable for small groups. It, like the book, is available from Ascension Press.
 
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