Event-Centered, Lifelong, Inter-Generational Faith Formation
At St. Katharine Drexel, we invite parishioners to think of their faith formation as a lifelong and inter-generational experience. Through our Generations of Faith program, we provide an integrated and comprehensive approach to faith formation that equips the parish to become a community of learning. Generations of Faith is centered in the events of church life, embraces all ages and generations, and promotes faith growth at home, through parish preparation programs, and most importantly, through participation in church life. This approach has six defining features - key principles and practices - that guide the development of faith formation in a parish community.
From September through April, we invite individuals and families to join us once a month for faith enrichment, fellowship and food at Generation of Faith. We provide one opportunity each month:
Wednesdays: 6:20 to 8 p.m., with (optional) supper starting at 5:45 p.m.
What, Exactly, Is a Sacrament?
Wednesday, September 27, 2017
Baptism and Confirmation
Wednesday, October 25, 2017
Wednesday, November 15, 2017
Anointing of the Sick
Wednesday, January 31, 2018
Wednesday, February 28, 2018
Wednesday, March 21, 2018
Holy Orders/Consecrated Life
Wednesday, April 25, 2018
The Six Key Features of Generations of Faith
Faith Formation is event-centered - the lifelong curriculum and individual learning experiences are developed around the events of our shared life as Church: the Church Year, sacraments and liturgy, prayer and spirituality, justice and service, community life, and proclamation of the Word. These events hold tremendous educative and transformative power. The key is to unlock their power through catechesis.
Faith Formation is cyclic, episodic, continuous and lifelong. It is formed around the natural rhythm and pattern of the faith community’s life as experienced throughout the year. The events of church life form a spiral curriculum (think church year) that immerses people more deeply each year into the faith of the Church. The events of church life are so theologically rich that it will take years to immerse people in their meaning and practice (think of the theological themes embedded in Lent). Our catechetical task is to continually deepen their understanding and practice.
Faith Formation is emergent – the beliefs and practices for living as a Catholic today emerge from the life, events, and practices of the faith community. The beliefs and practices for living the Catholic faith are embedded in the events of church life. Our catechetical task is to uncover the theological and doctrinal message within the event. Consider the themes in Lent: baptism, salvation, sin and repentance conversion, cross, Jesus Christ (messiah and suffering servant), justice, moral life, paschal mystery, and the three Lenten practices (fasting, praying, almsgiving). A cyclic curriculum moves through these themes over multiple years - immersing people more deeply into the Lenten experience. While every event is not as rich as Lent, the content that emerges from a multi-year, event centered curriculum provides the foundations or essentials of the Catholic faith.
Faith Formation is a cyclic process of learning: prepare all ages and all generations for meaningful participation in church events, engage all ages and generations in the events, and assist people to reflect on the significance and meaning of the event and apply the learning to their lives as Catholics. Event-centered catechesis seeks to help the learner develop:
Know-how – the ability to participate competently in the event and to live its meaning in their lives as Catholics.
Know-what – an understanding of the event and its theological focus.
Know-why – the meaning and significance of the event for our lives as Catholics and for their life as Catholics.
Faith Formation provides alignment of learning through common events and themes that are experienced and explored by all ages and all generations in the faith community. The key in event-centered learning is that the whole parish is focused-everyone is preparing for the same event with the same theological focus. This attention to alignment and focus creates parish-wide synergy.
Faith Formation integrates home and parish into a comprehensive model of faith formation. Empowering and equipping individuals and families to live their faith at home and in the world is constitutive of this approach to faith formation. Our catechetical task is to provide individuals and families with the resources and tools they need to extend and expand their learning from a preparation program and their experience of the event to their lives and home. We create event-specific home materials that help families and individuals celebrate traditions and rituals, continue their learning, pray together, serve others and work for justice, and enrich their relationships and family life. Attention to home resources and tools is as important as the parish preparation program.
“For our relationship with God to become strong and life-giving
we need time for prayer, study, reflection,
listening, sharing, and celebrating…” Father Paul