After laying the groundwork over the past year, we are blessed to have an adult faith formation team in place at my parish, Christ the King in Chicago. Presently, the team consists of eight people (Seven are pictured and one was behind the camera!) including our Associate Pastor, Fr. Matt Litak. At our first meeting, we shared our hopes and dreams for adult faith formation at the parish and began discussing ideas for addressing the first of the six tasks of catechesis: knowledge of the faith. Among the hopes and dreams articulated were the following:
- We need to pay more attention to adults.
- Adults need more opportunities for spiritual growth.
- We need to get people engaged and on fire for Christ.
- We need to invite people to know the Lord.
- It will be great to mingle with other adults who want to grow in faith.
- We need to reach out and invite people.
- It will be great to get other people’s perspectives on things.
- We need to connect our faith to everyday living.
- We need to be about creating a culture not just offering a program.
Among our first initiatives to help people grow in faith will be a book club. Several times during the year, the AFF team will select a book and invite the parish to read it and to attend a gathering (one in the morning for retirees and at-home folks and one in the evening for working folks) that will consist of a liturgical prayer, input from the associate pastor on the book, small group discussion, large group discussion, and possibly ending with Adoration and/or the Sacrament of Reconciliation. We hope to tie all of our adult faith formation opportunities to worship and the sacraments. Our first book club session will take place during Advent, and we will be reading a book recommended by our associate pastor: Thirsting for Prayer by Jacques Phillippe. You can bet I’ll push for us to read some Loyola Press books along the way, but right now, I’m just thrilled to get the wheels in motion for this endeavor!