What is Adult Faith Formation?
Adult Faith Formation is the lifelong process of finding and falling in love with God in the midst of our human lives. Every one of us, by virtue of our Baptism, is on a life-long journey of faith. Consequently, Adult Faith Formation has as its purpose to support, nourish, and challenge adults as they explore their faith, experience its power, grow in relationship with God. Thus, we strive here at the Basilica of St. Mary Star of the Sea, to offer, plan, and implement a wide variety of faith forming programs and opportunities for all adults.
How important is Adult Faith Formation?
Religious education is not just for children anymore. Adult faith formation is vital. According to the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops’ document, Our Hearts Were Burning Within Us (OHWB):
Why do we need Adult Faith Formation?
In their document Our Hearts Were Burning Within Us, the US Bishops renewed a commitment to fostering faith formation for adults. Since we all are continually being formed in our faith as we walk our journeys of life, a renewed commitment to adult faith formation necessitates a need for quality programming and a variety of opportunities for all adults.
What are the goals of Adult Faith Formation?
The Bishops outline three key goals of Adult Faith Formation (OHWB #67-73):
- Inviting and enabling ongoing conversion to Jesus in holiness of life:
- helping adults acquire an attitude of conversion to the Lord
- leading adults to repentance of sin, reconciliation through the sacraments and deepening faith in Jesus
- Promoting and supporting active membership in the Christian community:
- helping adults make a conscious and firm decision to live the faith through membership in the Christian community
- inviting and supporting baptized adults in their co-responsibility for the Church’s mission and life
- Calling and preparing adults to act as disciples in mission to the world
- inviting baptized adults to evangelization and justice in the world
Further Resources From the United States Catholic Conference of Bishops:
To assist us in the process of creating a culture of mature adult discipleship that is a living, fruitful and explicit profession of faith, the United States Catholic Conference of Bishops have put forth the following documents to guide us:
- The General Directory for Catechesis
- The National Directory for Catechesis
- Called and Gifted for the Third Millenium, 1995, Reflections of the USCCB on the 30th anniversary of the Decree on the Apostolate of the Laity
- Our Hearts Were Burning Within, 1999, A Pastoral Plan for Adult Faith Formation in the United States, NCCB/USCCB.
- Go and Make Disciples, 1992, 2002-10th-anniversary edition, a National Plan and Strategy for Catholic Evangelization in the United States.
- Disciples Called to Witness: The New Evangelization, 2012, a Statement by the USCCB Committee on Evangelization and Catechesis