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Faith Formation

How can we make room for everybody in the church?  Instead of setting up criteria and then judging one another according to those, can we just presume an ideal and acknowledge that we all inevitably fall short of that ideal.

 Good News Ministries
Using the three goals outlined in the U.S. Bishops' evangelization plan, Go and Make Disciples, Good News Ministries offers Catholic adult formation with an approach that combines in-depth studies of scripture and Church documents while emphasizing the love and servanthood message of the Sermon on the Mount, so that evangelization can take place in ordinary lives and everyday circumstances.

 Living Our Faith
Living Our Faith, developed by the Archdiocese of Milwaukee, “invites people to meet Christ,” “teaches people to know Christ” and “inspires people to live Christ.” Highlights not to be missed include Catholic trivia questions, “Twenty Something” (a column for young adults) and a weekly reflection by the archbishop.

 Seeing God in Others
From Catholic Educator's Resource Center: Somewhere this cry of, "Do you want to be my friend?" touched me. I began visiting asylums, hospitals, different institutions, families, and I discovered an immense world of pain which I never, never could have imagined - by Jean Vanier.

 The Cardinal Newman Society
Founded in 1993, the Cardinal Newman Society is dedicated to renewing and strengthening Catholic identity at America's 224 Catholic colleges and universities. The Society focuses its work on assisting students, alumni and school officials; urging fidelity to the magisterium of the Catholic Church; and researching activities both on campus and in the classroom. The Society is a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt, nonprofit organization supported by more than 20,000 private individuals, corporations and foundations.

 The Catholic Schools We Need
Moving from a hospice mentality to renewed hope
Catholic education is a communal, ecclesial duty, not just for parents of schoolchildren or for parishes blessed to have their own school. Surely American Catholics have sufficient wealth and imagination to accomplish this.

 The Missing Link
Can Catholic schools connect scholarly research and poor communities? As we consider approaches to education for marginalized students, it is important for those who are part of the dominant culture to remember that they are not the gifted and enlightened ones bringing their superior culture and insights to the marginalized.

 The R.C.I.A. Process - 2

The Catholic Church always welcomes new members and tries to provide an appropriate spiritual formation according to each person's need. Through the catechumenate, the church encourages an ongoing understanding of Jesus Christ and the Gospel Message that he proclaimed. The catechumenate provides a structure for conversion, the proclamation of the gospel, catechesis (passing on the teaching of the church), public and private prayer, spiritual direction, direct contact with members of the parish community and participation in the work of the church for justice and peace.

The church wants to share its life with new members and offer them support and encouragement. Each parish provides sponsors who can serve as spiritual companions for those who desire to become members of the Catholic Church. Through the various rites of the catechumenate, the Church marks a person's journey to full membership. These rites reflect his or her spiritual growth and the community's loving concern.

Sacraments of InitiationThe RCIA stresses the connections between the three sacraments of Christian initiation, Baptism, Confirmation, and Eucharist. During the Easter Vigil on Holy Saturday night, the elect are welcomed into the Church and receive these sacraments.

In Baptism, a person becomes a Christian and receives grace and life from the Holy Spirit. Through the water of baptism, candidates share in death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.

In the sacrament of Confirmation, the newly baptized (or neophytes) are anointed by the celebrant with the holy oil (chrism). Confirmation is a sacrament that celebrates God's special gifts and strengths in those who have been baptized. The fullness of the Holy Spirit is received.

During the liturgy of the Eucharist, the neophyte receives the Body and Blood of Christ. They share the gift of the Bread of Life and the Cup of Salvation, which will deepen their initiation throughout their lives.

A Distinct Process

There are three distinctive features of the RCIA process that set it apart from other forms of religious education and formation programs.

  • The first feature deals with the community. That is, the entire community takes responsibility for the formation of the adults who wish to join the community. Human experience provides overwhelming evidence that in order to become a full member of any group, the group itself must take a pro-active stance.
  • The second important feature of the RCIA process is rooted in an understanding of the whole human person as a unity of mind, body, and spirit. We bring our entire humanity into our understanding of Christ and His relationship with us.
  • Thirdly, because RCIA requires serious and sustained attention to the movements of one's own growth and development, the process provides ample time for prayer and reflection.


Official Church documents regarding Religious Education, CCD and Adult Faith Formation

 Organizations and Associations
Organizations and groups offering a variety of services to Religious Educators and catechists in the area of Faith Formation and Parish Ministry.

 Online Resources
Resources, web links and e-groups that can be value to those involved in Religious Education on any level.

Publishing companies specializing in Religious Education curriculum and materials. See also our archive on Catholic Media: Publishers.

 Magazines & Publications
Magazines and Online Newsletters especially focused on Religious Education and Faith Formation.

Resources and sites of interest for Roman Catholic Homeschoolers.

 Web Ministry
Online resources for Catechists, Lay Leadership and Parish educators.

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