Articles Under: Adult Faith Formation

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What is the Neophyte Year? Many of us may be aware of the RCIA process that is undertaken in many parishes, but have we stopped to ask ourselves the question, “What happens to the new Catholics after the Easter Vigil?” The Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults offers a period of Mystagogy for the seven weeks leading up to Pentecost, but then what? The new Catholic, for the period up to the anniversary of their reception into the Catholic Church, is known as a “neophyte,” that is, “one who is initiated at the Easter Vigil. The term comes from the... Read more
A Counter-Cultural Call “Mom, what’s that?” a little girl in the grocery store unabashedly asked as I walked past them in the produce aisle. Slightly embarrassed at her daughter’s rather loud and candid question, her mother simply and timidly responded “She’s a lady who loves Jesus.” I smiled at both mother and daughter and gave a little wave as I kept on in pursuit of the items on my list. In living my call to consecrated religious life over the past thirteen years, there have been plenty of experiences similar to this and I am sure that every sister has... Read more
Almost everyone in Hans Christian Andersen’s fable, “The Emperor’s New Clothes,” convinced themselves that the emperor was fully and splendidly dressed, when, indeed, he didn’t have a stitch on. Much could be said for many of the positions put forward in our contemporary society. For example, five members of the U.S. Supreme Court, in the 2015 Obergefell v. Hodges decision, asked us to believe that marriage can exist between two men or two women. A huge number of Americans are ready to accept the argument, lest they, like the emperor and his subjects, appear foolish. The Catholic Church suffers no... Read more
The language of discernment has its pitfalls. Often, such language is employed by Catholics to cover over a significant fear of commitment. For example, a young man may be “discerning” a vocation to the priesthood. Such discernment could be a good insofar as he is engaging regularly with a spiritual director, attending daily Mass, and praying the Divine Office. It could also be the case that the young man’s “discernment” is really a matter of relying solely upon his affections to assess the validity of the priestly call. He assumes he is “called” to the priesthood only when he feels... Read more
Luego de una larga sucesión de documentos magisteriales orientados a la importancia de un ambiente comunitario que fomente el cultivo de la vocación de cada miembro [1] , el Documento Preparatorio de la próxima XV Asamblea General Ordinaria del Sínodo de los Obispos, “Los jóvenes, la fe y el discernimiento vocacional” [2] , declara: Toda la comunidad cristiana debe sentirse responsable de la tarea de educar a las nuevas generaciones y debemos reconocer que son muchas las figuras de cristianos que la asumen, empezando por quienes se comprometen dentro de la vida eclesial. […] En todas las partes del mundo... Read more
Following a long line of magisterial documents that address the importance of a communal environment conducive to fostering one's vocation, [1] the Preparatory Document of the upcoming XV Ordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops, “Young People, the Faith and Vocational Discernment,” [2] states: The entire Christian community should feel the responsibility of educating new generations. In fact, many Christians involved in this work deserve recognition, beginning with those who have assumed this responsibility within ecclesial life...Everywhere in the world, parishes, religious congregations, associations, movements and ecclesial realities exist which can devise and offer young people significant experiences of... Read more
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“I know my kid has problems, but at least she’s not on drugs!” You’ll hear this uttered by moms appealing to their child’s teacher or by fathers trying to rationalize their son’s lackluster behavior. The intent of the phrase is to make one’s existing defects of character seem less significant when compared to someone who has “real” problems. In fact, I remember a mildly heated conversation during my own teen years, when my parents were beside themselves trying to get me to manage my personal life. My mom, sensing the tension and realizing that I really was a good kid,... Read more
¿Será que el término “discipulado” es solo otro eslogan católico que se ha puesto de moda? Aunque exista un mayor énfasis en el discipulado hoy en día, algunos dirigentes parroquiales admiten que no tienen una comprensión muy clara de lo que es exactamente el discipulado y cómo este tema pueda tener un impacto en el ministerio catequético. Incluso algunos se preguntan si no será otra tendencia pasajera. Así como me comentó un dirigente parroquial recientemente, “¿El discipulado?... Ah pues es una de esas palabras católicas que están de moda ahora…. Dentro de unos años, ya ni se dirá…. Así que... Read more