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Decree 4, GC 32: Service of Faith and the Promotion of Justice
Contents:
  1. Prayers and Thanksgivings
  2. A Morning Resolve
  3. Prayers and Thanksgivings

This choice is made in parish staffing decisions, job descriptions, budgets, and parishioner expectations. This task is a sacred trust and a serious responsibility that we must always fulfill with utmost care and dedication. We do not wish to weaken our commitment to this essential ministry in any way. But to teach as Jesus did means calling and equipping all Christians of every age and stage of life to fulfill their baptismal call to holiness in family, Church, and society—their mission to evangelize and transform the world into a more caring and just society.

Prayers and Thanksgivings

Ongoing faith formation is essential to accomplish this mission; it does not end at confirmation or graduation but continues until one's death. Accordingly, we strongly reaffirm that, "without neglecting its commitment to children, catechesis needs to give more attention to adults than it has been accustomed to do. As disciples, through the power of the Holy Spririt, our lives become increasingly centered on Jesus and the kingdom he proclaims.

By opening ourselves to him we find community with all his faith-filled disciples and by their example come to know Jesus more intimately. By following the example of his self-giving love we learn to be Christian disciples in our own time, place, and circumstances. The calls to holiness, to community, and to service of God and neighbor are "facets of Christian life that come to full expression only by means of development and growth toward Christian maturity.

We see it in children like Samuel who hear and respond to God's word cf. We see it in young people like Mary who ponder and say "yes" to God's call cf. Lk We see it in adults and marvel especially at the beauty of faith in those who have persevered in following the Lord over the full course of a lifetime: "They shall bear fruit even in old age, always vigorous and sturdy" Ps What does mature adult faith look like in those who respond generously to God's call?

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The General Directory for Catechesis says that it is "a living, explicit, and fruitful confession of faith. A full and rich development of these three characteristics is what we aim for in adult catechesis and Christian living. As such, faith is living and active, sharing many of the qualities of living things: it grows and develops over time; it learns from experience; it adapts to changing conditions while maintaining its essential identity; it goes through seasons, some apparently dormant, others fruitful, though wherever faith is present the Holy Spirit is at work in the life of the disciple.

Consequently, appropriate goals and content will embrace all the faith dimensions of an adult life—for example, understanding and communicating the faith, skills needed for personal growth, the experience of family life, relationships, public service, and concern for the common good. To be faithful and effective it will offer, over time, a comprehensive and systematic presentation and exploration of the core elements of Catholic faith and practice—a complete initiation into a Catholic way of life.

It will do so in a way that is accessible to adults and relates to their life experiences, helping them to form a Christian conscience and to live their lives in the world as faithful disciples of Jesus. It will also challenge the creativity of those who establish the direction, plan the content, and provide programs of adult faith formation. Meeting the challenge will be both demanding and rewarding. For guidance, we offer the following goals, principles, content, and approaches.

In response to God's call to holiness, our faith and life as adult disciples are grounded in developing a personal relationship with Jesus , "the Holy One of God" Jn , Mk It leads them to recognize and repent of sin in their hearts and lives, to seek reconciliation through the sacraments, and to embrace the invitation and challenge of an ever deepening faith in Jesus. It means putting on the mind of Christ, trusting in the Father's love, obeying God's will, seeking holiness of life, and growing in love for others. Deepening personal prayer is a significant means toward growth in holiness in daily life.

As adult believers, we learn and live our faith as active members of the Church. Our response to God's call to community "cannot remain abstract and unincarnated," but rather, "reveals itself concretely by a visible entry into a community of believers. The Church and its adult faithful have a mission in and to the world : to share the message of Christ to renew and to transform the social and temporal order.

This dual calling to evangelization and justice is integral to the identity of the lay faithful; all are called to it in baptism. Mt , adult disciples give witness to God's love and caring will so that, in the power of the Spirit, they renew the face of the earth. It equips us to be people of salt and light who build up God's kingdom of truth and life, holiness and grace, justice, love, and peace.

Effective adult faith formation efforts join faith and life. They help people in practical ways to live their daily lives by the light and power of the Gospel. Adults are eager for resources, guidance, and support that will help them form a community of faith within their families, grow more deeply in love with their spouses, raise children committed to Jesus and the Church, participate as Catholic families in society, and share together in the life and mission of their parish and the wider Church.

Within the whole scope of catechetical ministry, adult catechesis "must be regarded as a preferential option" 52 in planning and programming. When adult catechesis excels, it can then serve effectively as the point of reference and organizing principle for all catechesis.


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Effective adult formation ministry connects with and strengthens all the many ministries and activities of the parish—formational, charitable, devotional, social, administrative. This integration of parish life and ministry helps to form the whole community on its lifelong journey of growth in Christian faith and mission.

A Morning Resolve

Reach out to those whom society often neglects. It "seems the most appropriate model" for adult faith formation and, though it cannot be considered the exclusive model, should be encouraged everywhere. Whatever model is used, adult faith formation should always actively challenge participants to get involved with their own faith journey—passive listening is never enough; the goal is always conversion.

Effective adult faith formation "must begin by accepting adults where they are" 58 in their faith, their life situations, their experiences, and their preferred learning styles. Our programs and ministries must be in touch with people's real circumstances and concerns. Just as Jesus did with the disciples on the road to Emmaus, we must journey with people, listen to them, share our faith, help them to find in the Good News the answer to their hearts' deepest questions, and prepare them to live as Jesus' disciples.

But for most people the truths of faith really come alive and bear fruit when tested and put into practice—in soup kitchens, neighborhoods, small groups, workplaces, community organizations, and family homes. Adult catechesis practitioners need to learn to tap the learning potential of these diverse settings of Christian ministry and daily life. At other times it means discerning cultural elements incompatible with the Gospel and working together to purify and transform them. Both are important; neither should be neglected.


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Inculturation is a process of mutual enrichment between the Gospel and culture. Find ways to emphasize the gifts of ethnic and cultural diversity. We all want and deserve to be respected for who we are, with our personal qualities and cultural characteristics recognized as part of God's creative presence in the world. Special attention must be paid to those groups that are most easily forgotten: particularly those who are elderly, those who are living with handicapping conditions, those who are alienated from society.

Be conscious of those whose racial, linguistic, or ethnic identity may cause them to feel alienated from the local culture or faith community, to experience overt or subtle discrimination, or to be economically disadvantaged. Make every effort to reach out and welcome them, tactfully offering any needed assistance, and incorporating them in the life and activities of the Church community as full and valued members.

When catechesis omits one of these elements, the Christian faith does not attain full development. Each of them is a fundamental aspect of Christian life and a foundational content area for adult faith formation.

Prayers and Thanksgivings

The exploration of the six dimensions that follow are presented as content summaries to indicate what adult faith formation programs and opportunities seek to accomplish. In Part IV we identify key elements of this organizational support. We begin with reflections on the parish ; it is where much adult faith formation takes place, and it is the chief ministerial agent of such formation within and beyond the parish. We then focus on the people needed for this ministry, for "the quality of any form of pastoral activity is placed at risk if it does not rely on truly competent and trained personnel.

It is where they gather for weekly worship, celebrate their most joyous occasions, and mourn their deepest losses. There they are called to repentance and renewal, finding and celebrating God's forgiveness and reconciliation. Embracing the dying and rising of Jesus in their lives, they are challenged to holiness and strengthened for self-giving love and Christian service. We are challenged to find effective ways to walk the journey of life with all Catholics—including those without a strong parish connection—and to enrich that shared journey with the gifts of the faith community. Even as we walk with these non-parish Catholics, we seek ways to bring them back again to active parish life.

And yet this responsibility belongs fundamentally to the whole parish, which is called to be "a visible place of faith-witness" and "the living and permanent environment for growth in the faith. It is, "without doubt, the most important locus in which the Christian community is formed and expressed. This includes, for example, "the quality of the liturgies, the extent of shared decision making, the priorities in the parish budget, the degree of commitment to social justice, the quality of the other catechetical programs.

They learn as they prepare for ministry and as they engage in it; they learn from those with whom they serve and from those whom they serve; and by their witness, they show others the life-giving power of faith. At the same time, it encourages the Lord's disciples to begin anew each day their spiritual journey in truth, adoration and thanksgiving.

Thus, while the parish may have an adult faith formation program, it is no less true that the parish is an adult faith formation program.


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  5. How do they acquire the perspective and skills for an intelligent appropriation of Catholic Christian tradition and an honest, informed assessment of contemporary culture? How is the Christian message lived, communicated, and explored? How do people experience Christian community in family, parish, small groups, and ecumenical encounters? How do they actively participate in liturgical, small group, family, and personal prayer?

    How are they involved in assessing local needs and discerning pastoral priorities? How is Christian stewardship in parish and society called forth and welcomed?

    highschoolmeatnoi.tk How do they personally serve the "least ones" Mt ? How are they involved in shaping public policy and making society more just? In short, how is learning in faith already happening through the ordinary experience of parish life and mission? These roles constitute a ministerial infrastructure that we believe is necessary to sustain a healthy parish practice of adult faith formation. In this section we describe these roles, introduce objectives to be accomplished, and propose indicators to help in assessing attainment of the objectives.

    Objectives and indicators are based upon successful pastoral practice. They are meant as guides for enhancing and expanding effective adult faith formation, and they can be adapted to local needs and circumstances. The pastor bears the pastoral and spiritual responsibility, as reflected in the code of canon law, for catechesis in the parish and for ensuring an authentic presentation of the faith to adults.

    He sees to it that adults of all ages have opportunities to learn and grow in faith throughout their lives. To equip them for these tasks, seminarians, priests, and deacons are to study catechetical methodology, especially the principles and practices of adult faith formation. In communities without a resident pastor, the pastoral administrator ensures that adult faith formation opportunities are provided. Print Share Calendar Diocesan Locator. Introduction "Were not our hearts burning [within us] while he spoke to us on the way and opened the scriptures to us?