What is Faith Formation?
Faith formation does take many forms, some formal, some as life presents itself under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit. To know God, therefore to love God, therefore to serve God in love is the the Christian path. Under Catholic Canons:
“The Christian faithful since they are called by baptism to lead a life in conformity with the teachings of the gospel, have the right to a Christian education by which they will be properly instructed so as to develop the maturity of a human person and at the same time come to know and live the mystery of salvation” (Canon 217).
At St. James, we look to provide the opportunity for that instruction through our Religious Education for the children, RCIA for the adults, and Confirmation classes for the high school students. Our instruction is based on approved materials according to USCCB.
The following selection was published by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops in 2012
“Shortcomings in Catechetical Formation”
The bishops in the United States have expressed concern about the “religious illiteracy” level of the Catholic faithful. They are concerned not only about gaps in intellectual formation but also gaps in spiritual formation. They have been working to address these concerns, which impact Catholics’ understanding and practice of their faith. This includes an understanding and commitment to an active sacramental life.
At a meeting with representatives of the Council of the Evangelical Church in Germany on September 23, 2011, Pope Benedict XVI pointed out major challenges facing Christianity in our day and time, especially the spread of a new form of Christianity that has “little institutional depth, little rationality, and even less dogmatic content, and . . . little stability.”
CARA research shows that there is a need for enhanced sacramental catechesis. Not all the news about sacramental practice and catechetical formation is bad. Recent data suggest that the efforts of the bishops and the attention given to improving catechist formation and providing sound catechetical texts may be meeting with some success. Catechetical texts have improved considerably through the work of Catholic publishers and the review process offered by the USCCB’s Subcommittee on the Catechism.
We are always looking for more opportunities for Faith Formation in our parish, so please feel free to make suggestions or volunteer for activities.